Judge blocks gun control groups' lawsuit to stop downloadable 3D-printed guns

Judge blocks gun control groups' lawsuit to stop downloadable 3D-printed guns
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A federal judge on Friday tossed out a motion from three national gun control groups seeking a last-minute halt to a settlement that would allow for blueprints of 3-D printed firearms to be posted and dowloaded online.

Reuters reports that U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas, blocked the motion filed earlier this week seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on the case to halt design plans for 3-D printed guns from going online.

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The federal government had argued until recently that such blueprints posed a national security risk to the United States, but in June abruptly reversed course and reached a settlement with gun rights activist Cody Wilson, declaring that his company, Defense Distributed, would be allowed to post and sell the plans for 3-D printed guns.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords Law Center argued in Wednesday's filing that the government provided no explanation for reversing a policy to allow the legal download of products previously considered to be a national security threat.

“The Settlement Agreement raises very serious national and international security concerns and would cause immediate and irreparable harm to the United States and its citizens and the global community,” their court filings read.

“Simply put, the Department of Justice and State Department have suddenly and completely reversed themselves about the threats to public safety posed by plaintiffs’ proposed actions."

The blueprints reportedly include firearm models from simple handguns up to and including AR-15s.

A general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) argued that concerns over the weapons were overstated, as the technology is very basic and does not produce quality weaponry, Reuters reported.

“I don’t see it likely at all that criminals will use this clunky and expensive technology,” NSSF general counsel Lawrence Keane said.