Judge rules to extend injunction against 3D-printed gun designs

Components of a 3D printed gun

Components of a 3D printed gun

Although the ruling now forbids organizations from posting the 3D-printed gun blueprints to the internet, the case will continue, although no further hearings appear to be scheduled.

Lasnik cited several likely harms to the states.

It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger.

More than a dozen states sued the government in July after it said that the gun-building instructions could go back on the web.

Opponents of the technology the group has developed say that it would create ghost guns, weapons that are unregistered and therefore untraceable.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson brought a multistate lawsuit against President Donald Trump's administration in late July, after the State Department allowed the gun plans to be released as part of a settlement in a separate 2015 lawsuit.

Since making a 3D-printed gun only requires a 3D printer, the right materials and a blueprint, Lasnik said the concern is that 3D-printed guns will make it easy to bypass a host of state and federal laws.

Although Defense Distributed originally had said it would put the files on the internet on August 1, it did so a few days before Lasnik issued the initial temporary ban.

The files include 3-D printable blueprints for components that would go into the making of a version of the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, a weapon that has been used in U.S. mass shootings.

The group behind the weapons said it was considering its options.

"The order is a manifest injustice and a farcical admission of abridgment of the freedom of speech", said Cody Wilson, the owner of Defense Distributed and creator of 3D-printed gun designs, in an email statement.

The State Department and the Second Amendment Foundation, one of the private defendants in the case, didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lasnik on Monday said the government had failed to comply with procedural rules that mandate a 30-day notice period to the US Congress before allowing the files' dissemination. DOJ noted that the State Department's role is "determining what technology and weaponry provides a critical military or intelligence advantage such that it should not be shipped without restriction from the United States to other countries (or otherwise provided to foreigners), where, beyond the reach of USA law, it could be used to threaten US national security, foreign policy, or worldwide peace and stability".

Assistant Washington Attorney General Jeffrey Rupert argued, among other points, that the State Department's actions to remove all nonautomatic firearms up.50 caliber from the U.S. Munitions List that regulates what weapons can be exported - which effectively allows for the 3D printable gun blueprint files to be dispersed online - would cause "irreparable harm".

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