Aggregated From: National Review
Federal Judge Blocks Online Publishing of 3D-Printed-Gun Blueprints
A federal judge on Monday blocked the online dissemination of blueprints for 3D-printed guns.
Judge Robert Lasnik has extended a preliminary injunction preventing online publication of the printing instructions, the latest development in a legal conflict between Texas-based firearms company Defense Distributed, the State Department, and over a dozen states that has dragged on since 2015.
Three years ago, the State Department told Defense Distributed to stop publishing the blueprints, saying they flout firearm-export laws.
Plastic guns are “virtually undetectable by conventional security measures,” such as metal detectors, the State Department pointed out.
“Their use to commit terrorism, piracy, assassinations, or other serious crimes would cause serious and long-lasting harm to the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States,” the director of the Office of Defense Trade Controls Management, Lisa Aguirre, argued.
The company pushed back, asserting First and Second Amendment rights to publish the blueprints, before the Trump administration dropped its objections to letting the company publish the designs. A dozen states then sued to stop that from happening, citing various security concerns.
On July 31, a day before Defense Distributed planned to release the blueprints, Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order preventing their publication. Monday’s decision extended that ban until the case is settled.
The “irreparable burdens on the private defendants’ First Amendment rights are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the states are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn,” the court wrote Monday.