A federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday blocking the online release of plans for 3D-printed guns hours before the blueprints were set to become available.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, an appointee of former President Clinton, issued the temporary nationwide injunction on Tuesday afternoon, The Associated Press reported.
The order comes in response to a lawsuit from eight Democratic attorneys general seeking to block the Trump administration from allowing access to the downloadable plans.
The administration recently settled with gun activists to end a legal battle over the plans, allowing the group, Defense Distributed, to make the plans available for download starting Wednesday. The judge's temporary order puts that on hold.
President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE tweeted Tuesday morning that he was "looking into" the issue and that the 3D printing of guns "doesn't make much sense."
Thousands of people have already downloaded plans for the 3D printed guns, according to a Tuesday BBC report. Though plans were not supposed to be made available to the public until Aug. 1, plans for nine different models of guns were reportedly uploaded online on Friday.
More than 1,000 people downloaded the plans to 3D print AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles over the weekend, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s (D) office told CNN.
White House spokesman Hogan Gidley on Tuesday declined to reveal Trump's stance on 3D gun-printing, but he added it is illegal to own or make a wholly plastic gun, including any made with a 3D printer.
Gidley said the Trump administration "will continue to look at all options available to us to do what is necessary to protect Americans while also supporting the First and Second amendments."
Senate Democrats, spearheaded by Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonHow will Biden's Afghanistan debacle impact NASA's Artemis return to the moon? Biden to talk Russia, anti-corruption with Ukraine's president Blue Origin's Jeff Bezos wages lawfare on NASA and SpaceX MORE (D-Fla.), on Tuesday afternoon introduced legislation to prohibit blueprints for 3D-printed guns from being posted online.
“These 3D-printed plastic firearms can evade our detection systems and are a direct threat to our national security,” Nelson said.
The government ordered gun rights activist Cody Wilson, the head of Defense Distributed, to take down the 3D gun plans he posted online in 2013. He then sued the government in 2015.