The Justice Department reached a settlement allowing Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed to freely publish plans for 3D-printed firearms online beginning Aug. 1. Photo courtesy Defense Distributed/Facebook
July 19 (UPI) -- The Department of Justice reached a settlement with a guns rights activist group, allowing the sale of plans for 3D-printed firearms online, beginning Aug. 1.
Under the terms of the settlement, the government allowed Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed to freely publish the files for the 3-D firearms and other information online, the Second Amendment Foundation announced Thursday.
In the settlement the government also agreed to pay almost $40,000 of Wilson's legal fees and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed.
"We asked for the Moon and we figured the government would reject it, but they didn't want to go to trial," Alan M. Gottlieb of the Second Amendment Foundation told CNN. "The government fought us all the way and then all of the sudden folded their tent."
Wilson first filed the lawsuit in 2015 after the State Department ordered him to remove blueprints for his 3-D printed gun called "The Liberator" from the internet, citing rules about the regulation of exporting military data called the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
"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 3-D technology," the foundation said.
Wilson has also developed a website that will allow people to download The Liberator and digital files for an AR-15 lower receiver, a complete Baretta M9 handgun and other firearms.
Such 3-D printable firearms have become known as "Ghost Guns," as they have no serial numbers and are untraceable.