State Watch

21 states file lawsuit against selling blueprints online to print 3D guns

A coalition of 21 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration Thursday challenging a regulation that could permit the blueprints for 3D-printed guns to be posted online.

The lawsuit, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James (D), argues that allowing blueprints for the firearms to be posted to the internet would lead to the production of unregistered and untraceable assault-style weapons. 

“Ghost Guns endanger every single one of us,” James said in a statement. “These 3D-printed weapons are unregistered, untraceable, and, in many cases, undetectable.” 

The controversy over 3D guns and how widespread the government should allow their blueprints to be represents a new frontier in the gun control debate. 

Proponents of publicizing the documents say they are protected under the Constitution, while critics say releasing the blueprints would increase gun violence and allow criminals who are legally prohibited from obtaining guns to do so.

“While the president and his Administration know these homemade weapons pose an imminent threat, he continues to cater to the gun lobby — risking the lives of millions of Americans. We’re filing this lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration from further facilitating the spread of gun violence at our schools, our offices, and our places of worship,” said James. 

Joining New York in the lawsuit are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington state as well as the District of Columbia.

A federal judge in November blocked an earlier effort to allow the blueprints to be released online on procedural grounds, but the administration published rules this week moving the regulation from the State Department to the Commerce Department in a renewed effort to allow the documents’ publication.

The lawsuit alleges that properly regulating 3D-printed guns does not fall under the Commerce Department’s purview and that the move would “make it far easier for individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law to obtain a deadly weapon without undergoing a background check.”

“We successfully challenged the Trump administration’s first reckless attempt, and we will continue to fight against this latest attack on the safety of our communities,″ California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

Tags 3d guns 3D printed firearms 3D printed guns Gun control Letitia James Xavier Becerra
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