Published: Tue, July 31, 2018
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

President Trump looking at 3D-printed gun issue

President Trump looking at 3D-printed gun issue

Eight states are already filing suit against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.

"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public", Trump wrote. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!' the president tweeted. He did not offer further details.

In June, a gun-rights group, Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the government that will allow it to post 3-D printable gun plans online.

The states will ask a federal judge to issue a restraining order and an injunction to block the publication, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle. Those states were Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia.

The president's promise comes a day after nine states filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for allowing the open-source software.

Additionally, 21 Attorneys General are asking the State Department and the Department of Justice to block the 3D weapon plans from appearing online.

There followed a four-year legal battle, with Defense Distributed joining forces with the Second Amendment Foundation - which defends the right to own guns - to sue the State Department.

Seeking damages and attorney fees, attorneys Alan Gura and Josh Blackman outline the threats of litigation from Grewal and Feuer also illegally interfere with DefDist's lawful business under the Dormant Commerce Clause, which restricts the powers of states to get involved in federally-protected interstate commerce.

They said they'll be discussing the dangers of the 3D printed guns and the legislation to address it. However, gun industry experts have expressed doubt that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns are very expensive, the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easy to come by.

The settlement says Wilson and Defense Distributed can publish plans, files and 3-D drawings in any form and exempts them from the export restrictions. "It's a violation of the First Amendment, it's unconscionable and we're going to fight it to the very end".

Do-it-yourself firearms like The Liberator have been nicknamed "Ghost Guns" because they don't have serial numbers and are untraceable.

The controversy began in 2013 when self-styled crypto-anarchist Cody Wilson showed off the world's first 3D-printed gun. Many people are publishing files allowing owners of these printers to produce firearms. Pennsylvania had also sued Defense Distributed Sunday, resulting in an emergency hearing in which the company agreed to temporarily block Pennsylvania Internet users from its website.

In 2015, Lisa V. Aguirre, who was the director of the Office of Defense Trade Controls Management within the State Department, warned the federal court in a 70-page declaration that Defense Distributed's downloadable gun-making schematics would deny the department any opportunity to determine whether the uploaded blueprints would "cause significant harm to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States", considerations ITAR required.

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