Aug. 27 (UPI) -- A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday, blocking the Trump administration from allowing the public release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns.
Judge Robert Lasnik of the U.S. District Court in Seattle ruled in favor of attorneys general from 19 states and Washington, D.C., who sought to block the release of the blueprints. They said the guns would be difficult to trace and could be used to elude metal detectors.
"The court finds that 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Amendment rights are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the states are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo through the pendency of this litigation," Lasnik wrote.
He added the states had "legitimate fear that adding undetectable and untraceable guns to the arsenal of weaponry already available will likely increase the threat of gun violence they and their people experience."
In July, the Department of Justice reached a settlement with Texas-based company Defense Distributed to freely publish the files for the 3D-printed firearms and other information online beginning Aug. 1.
The Monday ruling extended a previous July 31 ruling, issuing a temporary restraining order against the release of the plans.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson said the July ruling maintained "the status quo," by keeping existing files available and not allowing release of new files.
In the ruling Monday, Lasnik wrote that Wilson sought to publish the blueprints to allow citizens to arm themselves outside of government regulations.
"It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger," he wrote. "Promising to detect the undetectable while at the same time removing a significant regulatory hurdle to the proliferation of these weapons -- both domestically and internationally -- rings hollow and in no way ameliorates, much less avoids, the harms that are likely to befall the states if an injunction is not issued."
"When the Trump administration inexplicably gave the green light to distribute on the Internet blueprints of 3D-printed, untraceable ghost guns, it needlessly endangered our children, our loved ones, and our men and women in law enforcement," Becerra said.