Ferguson Sues to Stop Spread of 3D-printed Gun Design Plans

A plastic pistol that was completely made on a 3D-printer at a home in Austin Texas

Several U.S. states said on Monday that they would jointly sue the Trump administration in a last-ditch effort to block the public from being able to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns.

A recent settlement between the group, Defense Distributed, and the State Department that allowed the files to be posted has spurred outcry from gun-control groups and Democratic lawmakers.

People can use the plans to manufacture a hard-to-trace plastic gun using a 3D printer. Ferguson said in a statement.

Guttenberg and others worry the lax access to guns is a public-safety issue and would mitigate current regulations, providing criminals and terrorists with "guns that can't be flagged by metal detectors, don't have serial numbers to trace and don't require the usual background checks".

The new lawsuit against the State Department was filed in Seattle, Wash., federal court by Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, along with New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

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But Defense Distributed began distributing the gun files earlier and by Sunday 1,000 people had already downloaded blueprints for an AR-15 style weapon.

Defense Distributed touts itself as the only such gun-technology business in the United States authorized by the federal government to publish those blueprints in the form of design data for the 3-D printers. "The internet will serve guns, the gun is downloadable", Wilson said. He said the settlement also violated states' rights to regulate firearms.

The US government had ordered the blueprints taken down in 2013, arguing they were a national security risk.

Nine US states have just sued to stop the distribution of plans for 3D-printed weapons.

Update, 6:03p.m. PT: Adds the lawsuit has now officially been filed. "We must do whatever we can to keep criminals from acquiring and creating these guns".

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Last week, a federal judge in Texas denied, on procedural grounds, an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order against the company filed by three groups: Everytown for Gun Safety, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Ferguson asked for a temporary restraining order to block Defense Distributed plans to begin publishing 3D-gun blueprints online August 1.

Pennsylvania on Sunday said it had reached an agreement with Defense Distributed to make its firearms plans inaccessible to users in the state. But surprisingly, in June, the Department of Justice settled with Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation.

Wilson, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation have by contrast maintained that this is a First Amendment case, claiming that the government's attempts to block the publication of the information on the web amounts to prior restraint barred by Supreme Court precedent.

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