We reported yesterday on the growing controversy of the dissemination online of 3D printer blueprints for firearm components after a recent court decision gave the company Defense Distributed the go-ahead to do so.
According to the court’s decision, the plans could be released on Aug. 1, but the company posted them on their website over the weekend. After more than 20 states sent cease and desist orders to DD, a Federal judge ruled Tuesday night that it is illegal to post blueprints for 3D-printable guns online, according to this story from CNN, striking a blow to the First Amendment.
But, as the story points out, hundreds of blueprints were downloaded before the judge’s decision came down, and have been reposted numerous times on various websites.
“Judge Robert Lasnik, siding with states that argued the postings could help criminals and terrorists manufacture such weapons, temporarily blocked a settlement that would have allowed Defense Distributed, a Texas-based gun rights organization, to legally post blueprints for 3D-printable guns,” the story says.
Those who have downloaded the information are not in violation of the law, but those who post the information are.
“What it means is if anyone posts this information online, they are in violation of federal law and can suffer very serious consequences. So, it makes it unlawful to post that information and make it available to the public,” said Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said on “Anderson Cooper 360˚”.
Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, released the following statement on Tuesday:
“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media have wrongly claimed that 3-D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms. Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the Internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years. Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA’s support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm.”
The issue will go back to court on Aug. 10 where it will be decided if a preliminary injunction is needed, says the CNN story.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson said he has effectively shut down his website as a result of the judge’s decision.
“By order of a federal judge in the Western District of Washington, http://DEFCAD.com is going dark,” he tweeted.
Guns.com reports that a trio of new bills dealing with regulations on 3D printed gun files and the firearms they could produce were highlighted in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
The legislation includes the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act crafted by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and a pair of bills updating the 1988-era Undetectable Firearms Act debuted by Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal in the Senate and U.S. Rep. David Cicilline in the House.
“These 3D-printed plastic firearms can evade our detection systems and are a direct threat to our national security,” said Nelson in the story.
Of particular interest is language in Cicilline’s proposed bill that includes a definition for the term “ghost gun” and outlaws the possession of one after 2020. The definition encompasses any firearm that lacks a unique serial number, which would include all firearms created from 80% AR lowers and 80% pistol frames.
Bills similar to the ones proposed were introduced to Congress last year but have been stuck in committee, the story says.