A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order stopping the publication of a software for automated production of 3D printed guns.
Defense Distributed, a gun access advocacy group based in Texas, is set to publish its computer aided design files for 3D printed weapons on Wednesday. The group’s plan comes after it reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of State to end a five-year legal battle.
On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik stated in his ruling that the Department of State agreed to published a notice of proposed rulemaking and final rule revising the United States Munitions List (USML).
The revision will allow Defense Distributed to publish its software for the automated production of 3D printed weapons such as the AR-15 rifle, which has been used in many recent U.S. mass shootings.
Untraceable 3D Printed Guns Could End Up in the Wrong Hands
On Tuesday, a coalition of nine state attorneys general sued the federal government, Defense Distributed, Second Amendment Foundation and Conn Williamson regarding the matter.
The attorneys general argued that the federal government violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the 10th Amendment. According to them, its “unlawful actions will lead to the proliferation of untraceable printed guns overseas and within the United States.”
Therefore, the attorneys general say, the federal government undermined various states’ extensive and comprehensive firearms regulations to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
The attorneys general requested the court to declare that the federal government’s temporary revision of the USML is unconstitutional. They also asked the court to restore the status until the completion of a proper administrative process.
In his ruling, Lasnik agreed with the argument of the attorneys general that the proliferation of 3D printed guns will have “many negative impacts,” saying that these untraceable weapons could end up in the wrong hands.
“A Major Victory for Common Sense and Public Safety”
In response to the judge’s decision, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, commented, “Once again, my office had to hold this administration accountable to the rule of law. I am thankful and relieved Judge Lasnik put a nationwide stop to the Trump administration’s dangerous decision to allow downloadable, 3D printed ghost guns to be distributed online.”
In addition, Ferguson stressed, “These ghost guns are untraceable, virtually undetectable and, without today’s victory, available to any felon, domestic abuser or terrorist. I hope the president does the right thing and directs his administration to change course.”
New York Attoney General Barbara Underwood said, “In a major victory for common sense and public safety, a federal judge just granted our request for a nationwide temporary restraining order — blocking the Trump administration from allowing the distribution of materials to easily 3D print guns.
“As we argued in the suit we filed yesterday, it is — simply — crazy to give criminals the tools to build untraceable, undetectable 3D printed guns at the touch of a button. Yet that’s exactly what the Trump administration decided to allow.”