Jul 18, 2018 | By Thomas

Last week, Cody Wilson, founder of 3D gun printing advocate Defense Distributed, won a major ruling in his quest to freely publish online blueprints that could allow users to manufacture firearms.

Cody Wilson, who infamously debuted the world’s first 3D-printed gun in 2013, confirmed that he will resume publication August 1, 2018, more than four years after its files were first removed.

Last week, the US Department of State agreed to waive its prior restraint order against Wilson and Defense Distributed, allowing them to freely publish the 3D files and other information about 3D printed guns.

In 2013, Defense Distributed were ordered by the State Department to remove the designs for the 3D printable single-shot The Liberator from its website. The State Department cited a set of rules design to regulate the exportation of military data and weapons known as ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and ordered Defense Distributed to take down the plans or face fines of up to one million dollars per violation as well as prison time. Defense Distributed removed all the files in response after this warning.

Two years later, together with the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), a large-budget institution that regularly finances lawsuits related to gun rights, Defense Distributed fought back by suing the State Department was unconstitutionally censoring information and First Amendment-guaranteed free speech, rather than guns.

Now, after three years, the Department of Justice and Second Amendment Foundation have reached a settlement in SAF's lawsuit over free speech issues related to 3D printable files and said that Americans may "access, discuss, use and reproduce" the technical data.

The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiffs' attorney's fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint.

"Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby," noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called 'weapons of war,' and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.

"Under this settlement," he continued, "the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3D technology."

The CAD (computer-aided design) files will be free for anyone to download and be available from August 1, said Defense Distributed on its website, which also announced:"The age of the downloadable gun formally begins."



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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UK Couple wrote at 7/27/2018 5:14:49 PM:

This has nothing to do with freedom of speech and more to do with the USA's obsession with guns. There is no reason for anybody other than the Police and Military to have guns. They should be banned as downloads because there is almost no way to stop them proliferating to other countries. The Americans may not care if hundreds of people die everyday from gunshots but most modern, civilised countries do. This will cause many countries to increase their Internet Censorship in order to block this kind of thing. The idiots who were reckless with drones have forced governments to create laws and restrictions that force out a lot of hobbyists, this will do the same for 3D Printing...

Richard wrote at 7/19/2018 2:33:45 PM:

Inexpensive tools to make guns have been around for a long time. It was just that people needed to have skills to use them. Further, those guns were made of metal. Plans to make guns have been around for a long time too. Before the advent of inexpensive 3D plastic printers, one design came out that uses only a drill, files and vise to make a fully automatic machine gun based on the WWII Sten gun out of commonly available materials found in hardware stores. As a machinist, I down loaded the files to see how it is made. I have no intent to build one 1) because I don’t want a machine gun and 2) I want something more accurate. What was intriguing is to see how deadly a weapon could be built with such simple tools out of common materials. I mention this example to show that many of us who want to download the files and look at the plans, just do so out of technical curiosity, but with no intent to build anything out of those plans. This is clearly a free speech issue. As for keeping firearms out of the hands of criminals, that’s impossible. If someone wants a gun badly enough, he’ll get one. No amount of laws will stop him. The only thing that will stop a criminal is the fear that his victims will shoot back.

George Colaluca wrote at 7/19/2018 4:12:00 AM:

I would not want to test fire a plastic gun especially with a magnum load

Will K wrote at 7/18/2018 3:08:01 PM:

the plans and 3d models for making receivers have been online for 10 years before Cody started DD and after he posted the DD collection (which was mainly a collection of what was available already)The DD collection has never been offline and has been accessible on torrents since the US- ITAR and has only been added to since.

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