Judge extends ban on 3D-printed guns

Judge extends ban on 3D-printed guns
© Getty

A judge in Seattle on Monday upheld a ban on publishing instructions to 3D-print guns amid ongoing litigation challenging the practice.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik extended his previous ruling that barred Defense Distributed and its founder, Cody Wilson, from uploading directions to the internet for 3D-printing guns.

Wilson has argued he has a First Amendment right to publish the instructions.

ADVERTISEMENT

But Lasnik wrote that the burdens on Wilson's First Amendment rights "are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo."

Nineteen states and Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit against Defense Distributed and the State Department after blueprints for the 3D-printed weapons were permitted to be uploaded to the internet as part of a government settlement with gun rights activists.

The State Department argued that changes to its regulations were not the cause of any fallout involving 3D-printed gun rules. That argument, Lasnik wrote, "ignores reality and is wholly unpersuasive."

Lasnik issued an initial temporary restraining order last month barring Defense Distributed from uploading blueprints for 3D-printed guns hours before the company was slated to post them on Aug. 1.

Wilson appeared on "Fox News Sunday" days later, where he argued that any restrictions on the ability to 3D-print guns would infringe on First Amendment and Second Amendment rights.

He added that he's willing to accept the "social costs" that come with his products in the name of defending the Second Amendment.

"I literally believe in the Second Amendment to the point of that it's alright and it should be expected there will be social costs for protecting a right like this," Wilson said during the Fox interview.

3D-printed guns emerged as a national point of contention last month when President TrumpDonald John TrumpGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Groups plan mass walkout in support of Kavanaugh accuser MORE tweeted that he was "looking into" the concept, adding that it "doesn't seem to make much sense."

Critics have warned that 3D printed guns can be made by individuals who would otherwise be prohibited from owning a firearm, and that the guns would untraceable.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump distances himself from Rosenstein by saying Sessions hired him Gowdy: Declassified documents unlikely to change anyone's mind on Russia investigation Pompeo on Rosenstein bombshell: Maybe you just ought to find something else to do if you can't be on the team MORE said earlier this month his administration would prosecute those who produce untraceable 3D-printed weapons. However, the Department of Justice opposed Lasnik's original injunction.