Federal judge blocks release of blueprints for 3D printed guns

The 3D printed guns have been a source of debate ever since Texas company Defense Distributed successfully sued for the right to post the blueprints online, arguing free speech claims.

Trump's State Department, however, is responsible for allowing the postings from Defense Distributed, a Texas group that has fought the federal government for years for the right to put "blueprints" for 3D printed guns online.

Defense Distributed reached a settlement with the USA government last month that allowed it to post 3-D-printable gun plans online starting August 1, 2018.

The gun plans were pulled from the internet in 2013 by order of the State Department under worldwide gun trafficking laws.

In June, the State Department, now led by Trump Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, settled the case with Wilson.

Before the decision, President Donald Trump said 3D-printed guns "doesn't seem to make much sense".

Speaking to CNN's "New Day" shortly before Trump's tweet, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February, said the ability to download blueprints for the firearms doesn't make sense.

"There are 3-D printers in public colleges and public spaces and there is the likelihood of potential irreparable harm", Lasnik said at the end of a one-hour hearing on the lawsuit.

Gun advocates say the guns are tedious and expensive to make, and don't hold up well.

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Should the blueprints for 3D printed guns be legally available?

It led to a backlash from lawmakers and, on Monday, Washington State attorney general Bob Ferguson announced that it would be suing the State Department "to stop the illegal distribution of 3D printed guns" on behalf of eight U.S. states.

On Tuesday Senate Democrats introduced a bill that would make it illegal to publish 3D-printer gun designs online. Wilson posted on Twitter that attorneys general from 21 states had filed lawsuits against him.

Defense Distributed now aims to create a repository of gun designs and to relaunch Defcad.com, according to a recent profile of the company and Wilson in the magazine Wired.

An attorney for Defense Distributors told The Associated Press he doesn't know how many blueprints have been downloaded in the intervening days, but some news outlets say the online manuals have been downloaded thousands of times and posted elsewhere online.

Lawmakers say that the 3D printable guns are risky because they are unregistered and can be undetectable by metal detectors because they are made from plastic.

"Making a gun with a 3D printer is kind of like using a screw driver to hammer a nail in- like you can probably get the job done but it's not going to work very well and you might injure yourself", Dukes added.

The settlement, which came without notice on June 29, included paying some court costs to Defense Distributed's founder, Cody Wilson, and dismissing the suit that alleged the downloads violated the Arms Export Control Act. "The age of the downloadable gun formally begins", the website states. The company said it had also blocked access to users in New Jersey and Los Angeles.

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