3D printable guns spark debate on Second Amendment, public safety

Enlarge  The Defense Distributed website this

Enlarge The Defense Distributed website this

Late on Tuesday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a restraining order, which temporarily stopped the release of blueprints to make 3D-printed plastic guns.

State Sens. Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, and Wayne Fontana, D-Allegheny, said Wednesday they plan to introduce legislation that would amend the state definition of "firearm" to include 3D printed guns and would prevent people from printing guns unless they have a federal firearm manufacturing license.

Made mostly of plastic, 3D printable guns, including military-style assault rifles used in many mass shootings, can be just as lethal.

Although DIY gunsmithing is legal in many forms under US law, including when it's done with a 3D printer, critics have pushed back against the government's settlement, saying it would undermine domestic and worldwide gun control efforts by greatly expanding access to untraceable homemade guns.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed his 32 lawsuit against the Trump Administration on Monday challenging the administration's policy that would allow the posting and sharing of plans to make usable guns with ordinary 3D-printers.

Gun access advocacy group Defense Distributed was due to put downloadable gun blueprints online on Wednesday. The technology has quickly grown, too, with 3D blueprints for guns now making all the headlines.

"We were disappointed in the ruling and view it as a massive prior restraint of free speech", Blackman said.

But those who support the release say that the blueprints are protected by the First and Second amendments.

However, the State Department said similar plans have been online for years.

"These 3D-printed plastic firearms can evade our detection systems and are a direct threat to our national security", Nelson said at a Capitol Hill press conference announcing the bill, "and we are going to let these go up on the internet tonight at midnight?" Fellow Democrat Edward Markey of MA said, "Donald Trump will be totally responsible for every downloadable plastic AR-15 that will be roaming the streets of our country if he does not act today". "Already spoke to the NRA, doesn't seem to make sense". "Court orders him to keep his word".

When the settlement was discovered, several state attorneys general filed a lawsuit against the State Department for failing to adhere to the Administrative Procedure Act.

The debate over 3D-printed firearms began in 2013 when Cody Wilson, the founder of Texas-based Defense Distributed, published downloadable designs for a 3D-printed firearm.

On Tuesday, Judge Lasnik wrote in his seven-page ruling that if an injunction isn't issued, "the proliferation of these firearms will have numerous negative impacts on a state level that the federal government once feared on the worldwide stage".

Defense Distributed was allowed only to post the plans after reaching a settlement with the Trump administration. Wilson sued in 2015, claiming the order infringed on his constitutional rights.

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