Owner of 3D-printed guns company says he's selling instructions despite court order

Owner of 3D-printed guns company says he's selling instructions despite court order
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The owner of a company that makes blueprints for 3D-printed guns said Tuesday that he has begun selling instructions for making the guns despite a court order barring him from uploading the directions, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik on Monday extended a previous ruling that barred Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, from uploading directions for 3D-printed guns to the internet.

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Wilson said at a news conference that he began selling the instructions in the U.S. on Tuesday morning and has already received almost 400 orders, according to the AP.

He indicated he believes he has found a loophole to the court order allowing him to sell the blueprints. He said that the instructions will be sold to customers on a flash drive, rather than being available for download, according to Ars Technica. He also reportedly will only sell the files in the U.S. rather than internationally, potentially avoiding export regulations.

“Anyone who wants to get these files is going to get them,” he said, according to the AP. “They can name their own price.”

Wilson has argued he has a First Amendment right to publish the instructions, but Lasnik wrote in Monday’s court order that 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Amendment rights “are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo."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., had previously sought an injunction to thwart a settlement reached by Defense Distributed and the State Department permitting the company to upload 3D-printed gun blueprints to the internet. The states argued that public access to the guns would present a security risk.

The Department of Justice maintains that the State Department does not have jurisdiction in the case and that a domestic ban against untraceable guns is in place.

Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order last month barring Defense Distributed from uploading directions for the guns and held up that ruling Monday.

Wilsons said Tuesday that he will challenge Lasnik’s order. He also said he is raising money for a legal defense as he expects states will try to sue to stop him from selling the instructions, according to the AP. 

-Updated 1:45 p.m.