United States judge halts 3-D printed gun blueprints hours before planned release

Posted August 03, 2018

The plans for a number of weapons appeared on CodeisFreeSpeech.com despite a federal judge on Tuesday stopping the release of the blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns. A federal judge has blocked the release of designs meant to allow people to make their own firearms using a 3-D printer.

The company behind the plans, Austin-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allowed it to make its plans available for download starting Wednesday.

Lawmakers say that the 3D printable guns are risky because they are unregistered and can be undetectable by metal detectors because they are made from plastic.

Republican leaders say existing laws on the books already outlaw the private manufacturing of guns and undetectable firearms, and require any firearm made to contain metal.

It has been reported that, although the blueprints were supposed to be made available from Wednesday, they were released early and have already been downloaded thousands of times.

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Defense Distributed and its founder Cody Wilson, a self-declared anarchist, argued that access to the online blueprints is guaranteed under First and Second Amendment rights which confer the right to free speech and to bear arms.

President Trump also questioned his administration's decision on the settlement.

3D printing is expensive and time-consuming, said Dukes and it costs more than buying a legal gun.

Nelson's bill would make it illegal for anyone to publish a digital file online that programs a printer to manufacture a firearm.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public", the President said on Twitter, revealing that he had spoken to America's main pro-gun lobby, the National Rifle Association (NRA).

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Senate Democrats called for President Trump to intervene. Separately, attorneys general in 21 states urged Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday (Tuesday NZT) to withdraw from the settlement with Defense Distributed, saying it "creates an imminent risk to public safety". They now have their sights set on the First Amendment as well, arguing that the mere knowledge of how guns work should also be banned by the federal government.

The blueprints for 3D printed guns have been available online for years now, mostly in the deep recesses of the dark web.

Last month, in a surprise move, it won its case, with the US Justice Department ruling that Americans may "access, discuss, use and reproduce" the technical data.

"I have a question for the Trump Administration: Why are you allowing unsafe criminals easy access to weapons?"

The Firearms Policy Coalition and other groups pulled the plans off the website of pro-gun group Defense Distributed before the court order and are now sharing those same files on a new site, said Craig DeLuz, a spokesman for the group.

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