Judge allows release of printed 3D gun blueprints

By Allen Cone
Judge allows release of printed 3D gun blueprints
Cody Wilson's Defense Distributed plans to freely publish plans for 3D-printed firearms online beginning Wednesday after a judge denied an emergency motion. Photo courtesy Defense Distributed/Facebook

July 28 (UPI) -- A federal Texas judge has denied a restraining order to prevent a company from releasing blueprints to print guns in 3D.

On Friday, District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin denied the emergency motion by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords, a group founded by former Rep Gabby Giffords. The judge said they failed to prove that they were actually a legitimate party to the case.


Defense Distributed, founded by Cody Wilson, plans to release the plans Wednesday.

The single-shot pistol is mainly made out of ABS plastic, which is the same material Lego bricks are made from, The firing pin and a piece of metal included to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act are the only metal parts.

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On July 19, the U.S. State Department reached a settlement with the Second Amendment Foundation on behalf of Wilson and his company to strip the official rules upholding the ban on posting the plans. The agency plans to transfers oversight of firearm exports to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech.


In 2013, the agency had said the plans could violate International Traffic in Arms Regulations. The government also had won several rounds of litigation with Wilson and his company since 2015.

Guns right groups, law enforcement officials and legislators have opposed the printing of guns.

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"I don't think that we really want to be in a world where Hamas in the Gaza has an ability to download a capacity for an AR-15 that could endanger security in that region, and the same thing could happen around the world," Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat, said at a hearing earlier this week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"You have my commitment. I'll take a look at it," Pompeo replied.

The decision "undermines the critical public safety laws that prosecutors enforce day in and day out," top city prosecutors in New York and Los Angeles said.

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"No one is safer if criminals can print untraceable guns on demand," Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., co-chairmmen of the Prosecutors Against Gun Violence group ,said in a statement Wednesday before the judge's ruling. "Allowing this exemption from federal rules would be an unconscionable mistake, making it all-too-easy for anyone with a dangerous history -- including terrorists and domestic abusers who cannot pass a background check -- to download files and print a functional gun with 3D printers available to any consumer."


Amy Edwards, who is a member of Moms Demand Action, told CNN "gun printing "creates a more dangerous society."

Gun rights activists applauded the decision.

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"Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby," Alan M. Gottlieb, Second Amendment Foundation founder, said in a statement. "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."

He described the International Traffic in Arms Regulations as a Cold War-era law intended to control exports of military articles.

"People that look into this know this is not a cheap hobby," gun owner Steve Ou said to KVUE-TV. "Even 3D printing as a whole is very expensive."

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