Pres. Trump 'looking into' 3D guns issue

States sue to block sale of 3D-printed weapon designs online

Several US states on Monday (July 30) said they would jointly sue the Trump administration for allowing the public to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns in a last-ditch effort to block the designs from becoming available on Wednesday (Aug 1).

Trump was referring to the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby that has become an integral part of the Republican political machine. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" he tweeted Tuesday morning.

The legal wrangling in the US around 3D-printed firearms dates back to 2013, when Texas-based Defence Distributed started publishing downloadable gun blueprints online.

The 3D-blueprints were removed from the site in 2013 because the government said it violated worldwide regulation laws, but eventually surrendered, concluding 3D-gun blueprints count as constitutionally protected speech.

"Two federal courts agreed with the federal government and the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case, instead of continuing to defend the lawsuit that they were winning at every stage... the Trump administration abruptly reversed course", Ferguson said on Monday.

Kenneth Schwartz reported this story for VOA News.

Gutowski added that the majority of guns produced with the aid of 3D printers are detectable with metal detectors as other firearms are.

The situation began back in 2013 when gunmaker Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed, uploaded the blueprints for the world's first working 3D-printed pistol, the "Liberator", to his website. "We will not be silenced", Wilson posted on Twitter.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking the release of downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed firearms.

While the blueprints for DIY firearms are now legal, federal law prohibits guns that don't contain enough metal to trigger screening machines commonly found in airports, courthouses and other secure areas.

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Markey, Blumenthal and other Democrats filed legislation that would prohibit the publication of a digital file online that allows a 3D printer to manufacture a firearm.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, pictured in 2017, is leading a multi-state lawsuit to prevent 3D-printer gun plans from being published on online.

The second measure is meant to ensure that even guns primarily made of plastic can be discovered by metal detectors.

"This is a First Amendment case".

Thousands of people have already downloaded plans for the 3D printed guns, according to a Tuesday BBC report.

Some experts have sought to downplay the fears of 3D-printed weapons, emphasizing that 3D printers are expensive and weapons produced in them quickly disintegrate if used. And they're not usually very accurate.

The company, Defense Distributed, settled with the federal government after fighting the Obama administration in court for five years. Under that agreement, Defense Distributed will be able to post downloadable instructions for 3D-printable guns starting Wednesday, making such firearms available to anyone with the right machine and materials.

"This is an imminent threat to public safety and violates the law".

The states challenging the Department of Justice's settlement claim that not only is it a violation of their Tenth Amendment rights, but it also violates the Administrative Procedure Act since certain required administrative steps haven't yet been taken.

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