AG Swanson sues to block 3D gun blueprints online

Marsha Scott
August 2, 2018

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and interim Police Chief Carmen Best echoed Ferguson's concerns, saying that allowing anyone to make a gun with a 3D printer is a public safety risk and national security problem.

Eight Democratic attorneys general, including Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government's settlement with the company that makes the plans available online.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed guns.

"It is immediately obvious to anyone who looks at this issue that 3D-printed guns are nothing short of a menace to society, and we are thrilled that the court ruled in this manner", stated Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign. Now, Wilson says he wants his website to become the Wikipedia of downloadable weapons.

Some gun rights groups say the technology is expensive, the guns are unreliable and the threat is being overblown.

With more than 4,500 downloads as of Tuesday afternoon, the most popular blueprint on the site appeared to be for "the Liberator", a single-shot.380-caliber handgun made nearly entirely of 3D-printed plastic.

Assembling your own gun is legal, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, provided you don't sell it.

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"There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made", Judge Lasnik said ahead of the plans' scheduled nationwide release on Wednesday.

Washington's Attorney General, Bob Ferguson, said at a press conference before filing the lawsuit on Monday that the Trump administration's settlement was "unprecedented and not only disastrous for public safety but undermines our state laws meant to keep firearms out of the hands of unsafe individuals".

"These risky files would allow anyone - including terrorists, domestic abusers, felons, fugitives, and juveniles - to print untraceable assault weapons using a 3D printer from the comfort of their own homes", said Attorney General Grewal.

President Trump on Tuesday weighed in on 3D-printed guns - a day after eight USA states sued the government for an emergency ban on blueprints for the potentially untraceable weapons.

"It just defies common sense and yet this is what the Trump administration has done", said Nelson, who is the lead sponsor of legislation to prohibit blueprints from being posted online. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" he tweeted.

The settlement ends a multiyear legal battle that started when Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson posted designs for a 3-D printed handgun he called "The Liberator" in 2013. A federal law passed in 1988 - crafted with NRA support - bars the manufacture, sale or possession of an undetectable firearm. The guns are made of a hard plastic and are simple to assemble, easy to hide and difficult to trace.

The decision blocked a settlement that Trump's administration had reached with a Texas-based company, which initially said it planned to put files online Wednesday. "It has also remained illegal for prohibited persons to build firearms with 3D printers or by any other means as well".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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