Aug 1, 2018 | By Thomas

A U.S. judge on Tuesday issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of 3D printed gun blueprints hours before they were set to hit the internet.

Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., left, and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., display a photo of a plastic gun on Tuesday in Washington. Credit: Associated Press

"If an injunction is not issued and the status quo alters at midnight tonight, the proliferation of these firearms will have many of the negative impacts on a state level that the federal government once feared on the international stage," US District Judge Robert Lasnik wrote in his order.

"Against this hardship is a delay in lifting regulatory restrictions to which Defense Distributed has been subject for over five years: the balance of hardships and the public interest tip sharply in plaintiffs’ favor."

Lasnik’s ruling Tuesday comes a day after eight states announced that they had filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the Trump administration’s decision last month to allow Cody Wilson to begin sharing the blueprints on Aug.1. The eight states involved in the lawsuit include: Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and also the District of Columbia. They also sought the restraining order, arguing the 3D printed guns would be a safety risk. A total of 20 states (and DC) have sent a separate letter expressing their support.

"These ghost guns are untraceable, virtually undetectable and, without today’s victory, available to any felon, domestic abuser or terrorist," said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. "I hope the President does the right thing and directs his administration to change course."

During the hearing in Seattle, Eric Soskin, a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department, said they reached the settlement to allow the company to post the material online because the regulations were designed to restrict weapons that could be used in war, and the online guns were no different from the weapons that could be bought in a store.

Since the weapons “did not create a military advantage,” he told the judge, “how could the government justify regulating the data?”

But Lasnik countered, "There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made."

Congressional Democrats have urged Trump to reverse the decision to publish the plans. At a news conference Tuesday, Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal said that if Trump does not block sale, "Blood is going to be on his hands."

Trump said Tuesday that he's “looking into” the idea, saying making 3D plastic guns available to the public “doesn't seem to make much sense!”

Trump tweeted that he has already spoken with the National Rifle Association about the downloadable directions the Texas company wants to provide for people to make 3D-printed guns. The guns are made of a hard plastic and are simple to assemble, easy to conceal and difficult to trace.

After a yearslong court battle, the State Department in late June settled the case against Defense Distributed.

The company's website had said downloads would begin today, but blueprints for "the Liberator", a single-shot .380-caliber plastic pistol has been posted on the site since Friday. It had been downloaded more than 4,500 downloads as of Tuesday afternoon, and models for the AR-15, the second-most popular firearm, had been downloaded more than 3,000 times.

The NRA followed suit. “Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years,” Chris Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, said in a statement.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Hugo wrote at 8/2/2018 3:14:08 PM:

As usual, the anti-gun media and political hacks are lying and perpetuating lies about these things and gun laws in general. No materials are undetectable or invisible, period. With the forces involved in firing a cartridge of most any caliber, I would not want to try to contain it with plastic of any kind, it simply isn't the right, or safe material to use. More to the point, making a firearm for personal use is completely legal, and should remains so.

Richard wrote at 8/2/2018 3:56:22 AM:

This action is merely political theater, and means nothing. These plans have been available for years on other websites. (I won’t tell you where.) These guns are useless without ammunition. The ammunition is made of metal and is easily detectable with today’s metal detectors. Without ammunition, these plastic guns are useless pieces of plastic, too light to use even for pistol-whipping.

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