3D Printed Guns: If Trump Won’t Keep Us Safe, We Will – Washington AG Says
Eight U.S. states have filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for allowing 3D-printed gun designs to be sold freely on the internet. The states have also gone ahead to file an injunction requesting that online sales of 3D printed guns be stopped. The announcement was made by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Market Watch reports.
Ferguson listed the states involved in the lawsuit as Washington, Washington DC, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon and Maryland. The main target of the lawsuit is Defense Distributed. The firm was warned by the State Department to stop online publication of 3D weapon designs in late 2013, but the firm ignored the warning. The Defense Department accused the firm of publishing 3D-printed pistol designs that contravened International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The company fired back with a lawsuit, arguing its gun designs were not controllable by a law that governs firearms export.
Together with Second Amendment Foundation, Defense Distributed filed litigation against the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls of the State Department in 2015. A Texas district court, the US Court of Appeals, and the US Supreme Court failed to recognize the litigant’s rights to file the lawsuit. The lawsuit was thrown out in April.
Then in a swift series of events, the Department of Justice in June reached a settlement agreement with both Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation. The Department consented to set aside the earlier imposed restrictions, allowing Distributed to publish 3D-print gun designs online. The company announced it would resume selling them on August 1.
If The Trump Administration Won’t Keep Us Safe, We Will States Say
Ferguson lamented that the Trump administration made a reckless and capricious decision when it permitted Defense Distributed to publicly sell 3D-printed weapon designs. He called the development a direct violation of states’ rights to weapon control.
“Why are you allowing dangerous criminals easy access to weapons?” Ferguson queried the Trump administration. “These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history. If the Trump Administration won’t keep us safe, we will.”
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence made moves to legally deter Defense Distributed from commencing the publication of 3D-printed gun designs online as announced on August 1. However, a federal judge threw out their motion.
Federal Judge Blocks Posting 3D Gun Printing Hours before Scheduled Publications
In yet another twist, U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary order on Tuesday restricting Defense Distributed and anyone else from publishing blueprints for producing personal guns using 3D printers on the internet.
The legal relief was obtained by the attorney generals of the eight states, with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday invoking an order restraining anyone from publishing 3D-printed weapon designs online.
New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood hails the verdict as a “major victory for common sense and public safety,” saying it prevents the federal government from making it easy for just anyone to produce guns using 3D.
“As we argued in the suit we filed yesterday, it is – simply – crazy to give criminals the tools to build untraceable, undetectable 3-D printed guns at the touch of a button. Yet that’s exactly what the Trump administration decided to allow,” Barbara said.