Rush to block downloadable 3D 'ghost guns' from web

31 July, 2018, 17:27 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • A plastic pistol that was completely made on a 3D-printer at a home in Austin Texas

"The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to keep our citizens safe, but we will not be deterred from working to ensure Pennsylvania safety laws are followed and our residents are protected from these unsafe weapons getting in the wrong hands".

But critics are concerned it will see a massive rise in so-called ghost guns, unregistered weapons the government is unaware of and is unable to trace. It says on its website that it plans to release the plans by august 1.

Joining were attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

"The State Department has made a risky and baffling mistake", said Nick Suplina, legal policy director for Everytown.

Three-D printed guns will make it easier for terrorists and people who are too unsafe to pass criminal background checks to get their hands on guns, said Avery Gardiner, the co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. The company said it has also blocked access to users in New Jersey and Los Angeles. At an emergency hearing held over the phone Sunday, the attorney general's office asked a judge for a restraining order that would block a website run by gun-rights group Defense Distributed from being accessible in Pennsylvania.

The State Department reversed course in late June, agreeing to allow Wilson to resume posting the blueprints.

"The United States and other countries rely on global arms embargoes, export controls, and other measures to restrict the availability of defense articles sought by terrorist organizations", Aguirre wrote.

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Wilson, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation have by contrast maintained that this is a First Amendment case, claiming that the government's attempts to block the publication of the information on the web amounts to prior restraint barred by Supreme Court precedent.

The government had initially ordered Wilson to remove the plans when they were first posted in 2013, saying they violated restrictions on the export of defense materials.

Politicians across the country argue this is a matter of public safety.

What just happened? Following a lengthy legal battle, the State Department last month settled a case over computer files that enabled the 3D-printing of firearms, paving the way for people to own and distribute the model blueprints legally.

The White House did not immediately return a request for additional comment. This lawsuit is being filed in federal court in Seattle. "Allowing unfettered access to these designs will enable felons, terrorists, and domestic abusers to create guns easily and put public safety at risk".

In the lawsuit filed Monday, the attorneys general claimed that this "temporary modification" violates the Administrative Procedure Act because, the states claim, "there is no indication in the Settlement Agreement (or elsewhere) that any analysis, study or determination was made by the Government Defendants, in consultation with other agencies, before the Government agreed to remove" the files from Category I of the USA munitions list.

"The notion that removal of an item from the [U.S. munitions list] is in the national security interest defies common sense", the attorneys general wrote in the lawsuit.

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