Federal judge blocks release of 3-D printable gun designs

States sue to block sale of 3D-printed weapon designs online

Eight US states on Monday filed a lawsuit to block a Trump administration decision enabling 3D printers to make plastic handguns that opponents say will be nearly impossible to control.

Although Defense Distributed was expected to publicise the plans on Wednesday, more than 1,000 people have downloaded the files for building an AR-15 rifle - the same gun used in many of America's mass shootings - since Friday. The Obama administration said it violated federal law and Wilson sued.

"There are 3-D printers in public colleges and public spaces and there is the likelihood of potential irreparable harm", Lasnik said at the end of a one-hour hearing on the lawsuit.

Eight Democratic attorneys general had filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government's settlement with Defence Distributed.

Last month, in a surprise move, it won its case, with the US Justice Department ruling that Americans may "access, discuss, use and reproduce" the technical data. "Metal detectors and other security measures will be completely useless against the flood of undetectable and untraceable "ghost guns" that the GOP is inviting into our schools, workplaces, airports and public buildings", she said in a statement.

Congressional Democrats are urging the administration to reverse its decision to allow Austin-based Defense Distributed to publish downloadable blueprints for the 3D guns.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he is "looking into" the idea, declaring it "doesn't seem to make much sense!". "I'm proud to lead the fight in New Jersey to stop Wilson and Defense Distributed from publishing printable-gun computer files, and I call on the federal government to join us in protecting the safety of our residents and our law enforcement officers".

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Previously, Attorneys General in eight Democrat-ruled USA states sued the Donald Trump administration over a June settlement with Defense Distributed. Those plans were put on hold by the Seattle judge's decision. But on the evening of July 31, a judge issued a temporary restraining order in response to a legal challenge from state attorneys general that prevents the information from being published.

The proliferation of such firearms could also take business away from the traditional gun industry, the companies that the NRA represents, and confound law enforcement in attempts to reduce gun violence or get illegal guns off the street.

Trump said, without specifying which part of the argument he was referring to.

But while that particular case is high-profile, Washington Free Beacon reporter Stephen Gutowski points out that gun blueprints have always been legally available for law-abiding Americans.

The printers needed to make the guns can cost from $5,000 to $600,000, according to Vice News.

Fred Guttenberg is exasperated that the government is about to allow plans for 3-D printed guns to be posted online. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the President tweeted Tuesday, without offering further details about what he'll do about the weapons.

In 2015, Wilson sued, saying his First Amendment rights were violated.

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