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States suing Trump administration, company over 3D-printed guns

States suing Trump administration, company over 3D-printed guns

Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro says Texas-based pro-gun group Defense Distributed agreed to block Pennsylvania users after an emergency hearing Sunday night in federal court in Philadelphia.

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

A lawsuit filed Monday by Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson is challenging the Trump administration's decision to allow the release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns, saying the move would provide broad unregulated access to unsafe weapons.

In a telephone interview, Defense Distributed director Cody Wilson said that although the company had temporarily agreed to prevent downloading of any gun files in Pennsylvania, it would fight any effort by state officials to seek a permanent ban.

He says the company said in court it actually began distributing gun files Friday and by Sunday, 1,000 people had downloaded 3D plans for AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles. "We must do whatever we can to keep criminals from acquiring and creating these guns".

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"The Trump administration recently chose to give access to untraceable and undetectable firearms to any felon, domestic abuser, or terrorist with a laptop and access to a 3D printer", Ferguson said.

"The lawsuit alleges there is no evidence either of those steps have happened, which violates the Administrative Procedure Act", Ferguson's office said in a release.

Sure enough, CNET was able to download copies of plans for one gun from the website. We reach unsafe ground when we let the government - federal, state or local - tell people what information they can and can't share over the internet. Washington is joined by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia in the suit. Wilson, a gun rights activists, has been arguing that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech. The government also agreed to reimburse Defense Distributed for almost $40,000 in legal fees, while maintaining that it had not denied Wilson's constitutional rights.

"Americans have the right to this data", Wilson said. "This long-settled statute requires protections in order to possess potentially-deadly weapons such a minimum age for purchase, background checks, and valid firearms licenses and permits".

Ferguson said he hopes to file the lawsuit before the end of the day Monday. "So be it. I'm not backing down on public safety", Grewal posted on Twitter. Under the terms of the agreement, plans for 3D gun parts can be distributed freely online, starting on Wednesday.