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Nine states sue to prevent 3D-printed gun plans going online

By midian182 · 47 replies
Jul 31, 2018
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  1. The situation began back in 2013 when gunmaker Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed, uploaded the blueprints for the world’s first working 3D-printed pistol, the "Liberator,” to his website. Soon after, the US State Department demanded he remove them or face prosecution for violating federal export controls.

    Cody and the Second Amendment Foundation sued the State Department in 2015, arguing that the forced removal violated his right to bear arms and his First Amendment free speech rights. When the case was finally settled in June, the agency said the decision was made in the interests of the security and foreign policy of the United States and in consultation with the Justice Department.

    But a multi-state lawsuit is now seeking to issue a restraining order and an injunction to block Defense Distributed from publishing the 3D designs. Washington, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York, and the District of Columbia are all part of the suit.

    "These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history," said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

    Additionally, 21 Attorneys General are asking the State Department and the Department of Justice to block the 3D weapon plans from appearing online.

    Wilson sent out a tweet yesterday asking people to join him in the legal fight. While the blueprints were supposed to be published on August 1, he says they were uploaded to Defense Distributed on July 27, though some states have blocked access to the site.

    Permalink to story.

  2. kombu

    kombu TS Addict Posts: 90   +182

    How else am I supposed to protect myself from those school bullies?
    regiq likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,374   +3,770

    I am all for gun rights to include automatic weapons, silencers, etc. but making it possible to create a gun that is untraceable is not guaranteed by the 2nd amendment. Guns definitely serve a purpose, not the least of which helps keep out dictators and those that would desire to put us into the role of indentured servitude, but in order to keep carnage out of the streets or any other form of disorder there must be a way to trace and account for such weapons. The person that wants to be able to use a weapon and never be found is a person that wants to avoid their legal responsibilities and that simply has something to hide.

    Nope! Give me the right to own and operate any weapon I wish but also make me accountable to protect myself and others!
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 3,160   +1,413

    I'm not as worried about the guns being untraceable as so many of them that are used in crimes are stolen/traded/shared guns anyway. But if the gun is plastic then it could get through metal detectors. The ammo still couldn't, but that's easier to get around.

    This probably wouldn't matter on a plane (since a gun with 1 or 2 bullets isn't going to do much). but if you want to assassinate someone, then this might be just what you're looking for.

    Also - do we really need plastic guns? I get it, they can make money selling their prints, but don't sell this like they're standing up for our rights to bear arms. They're trying to make a buck. There are plenty of other ways for people to own guns without these.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  5. GreyFoxx

    GreyFoxx TS Booster Posts: 99   +69

    'Muricaaaaaa! F*** Yeah!
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  6. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,123   +1,617

    "These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history," said Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

    I live in Washington State and Bob Ferguson is a ***** bucking for political office. He spends more time suing the feds to keep his name in the paper than paying attention to his own state. This quote shows just how uninformed he (and everyone else who is suing) is.

    First of all, you need a $100k+ 3D printer to create one of these. Secondly, if you are stupid enough to pay $100k to buy a 3D printer to make one of these, the "gun" is good for about one, very inaccurate shot. Lastly, you can get plans to make REAL guns virtually anywhere. And bombs and missiles for that matter.

    Listening to the uninformed, you'd think that all of a sudden, you can now 3D print a .50 caliber Browning machine gun while waiting for your coffee to percolate.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  7. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 730   +1,056

    Perfectly legal for anyone to print their own firearm.

    The second amendment is as dated as recent events suggest. That's what happens when you are governed by ambiguous at best 200 year old laws that you can't effectively clarify or change, regardless of the results centuries after they are written.
    wiyosaya and ForgottenLegion like this.
  8. CBTex

    CBTex TS Booster Posts: 45   +71

    Isn't this more of a First Amendment issue?

    These attorneys general want to block someone from disseminating the plans.

    When has stopping ideas and thoughts ever worked?
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,355   +4,987

    Nevermind the other 900+ in the world, if these nine states don't want them. We must prevent them from becoming reality.</sarcasm>
    ShagnWagn likes this.
  10. ShagnWagn

    ShagnWagn TS Guru Posts: 722   +559

    Aren't these all liberal states? Check.

    What people don't understand is that anyone can make any sort of weapon. Heck even a pencil or a hole punch can be considered a (lethal) weapon in the right hands. Heck even just fists can. Even these autonomous cars do and will continue to do so - and the states are giving them licenses to put them at the public's safety risk. A 4000lb bullet coming at you at 70mph. No thanks. They are even wanting to put 160,000 lb semis with the same failing technology on the public streets.

    Just because it is somewhat more lethal changes nothing. What this does is enable yet another weapon easier to make - if you have major cash reserves. This is just the freedom of exchange of knowledge.
  11. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Booster Posts: 73   +29

    The real issue is not the plastic gun made from a printer. It is the issue of the online rights. Most intelligent people, know a plastic gun is not really a usable device. Knowing physics and common gun knowledge one shot from a plastic gun and that is all you get. The government trying to shut down peoples rights to internet information is what is the real deal. If you set a precedent with this then you can start shutting down any information that could be questionable. We have some 3D printed items at work and they are not durable at all.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  12. Robertrogue

    Robertrogue TS Booster Posts: 73   +29

    So, laws are to be rewritten every few years to work for that time period only? The United States is only the best and most powerful country in the world because of our 200+ year old laws. The reason why everyone across the world wants to live here also. It seems like everyone wants us to change our laws at the whim of the mob. Mob mentality does not work and it is why we are a democratic Republic and not a true democracy. 5 wolves and one lamb are voting on what is for dinner, guess who wins that democratic vote?
  13. RebelFlag

    RebelFlag TS Addict Posts: 155   +90

    Actually, some of the 3D printed guns are fairly durable and will stand up to much more than one shot. The whole operating principle of the gun is that an object (in this case the bullet) follows the path of least resistance. If this wasn't the case, even steel firearms would be damaged every time they are fired. As a demonstration of this, at one time in the city of Chicago, people would wrap a magazine such as newsweek, time, whatever, around a shotgun shell, and wrap a couple of pieces of duct tape around the magazine. They would then use a small dull ended nail pushed through a rubber band and snapped against the primer of the shell to fire the round. It made for quite the dangerous little homemade shotgun, and gang members liked them because they didn't have to worry about being caught with a firearm.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,355   +4,987

    With no dead weight to counter recoil? I wouldn't want to be the one snapping the rubber band.
  15. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 758   +287

    An overblown political argument to keep from actually solving actual problems. If the helicopter crowd would worry a little more about keeping the helicopter maintained than who's riding in it, then we might not have so many crashes. People will always manage to lay hold of the tools, so lets make sure they are mentally capable of using them correctly.
    BrianMontanye likes this.
  16. BrianMontanye

    BrianMontanye TS Booster Posts: 81   +53

    "which helps keep out dictators"

    This is completely false though. If you want to think it is worthwhile then go ahead but I am telling you right now, if the armed forces came to your door and wanted the gun, they would get it, with or without your permission. No amount of citizen controlled firearms are going to fend off armored vehicles and trained military personnel.
    wiyosaya likes this.
  17. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 730   +1,056

    I'll phrase this question more clearly for you: "So, laws are to be rewritten to work for the time period?

    Hell yes! In context of the age and intent that particular amendment was written for compared to the time we live in now, it's crazy to not carefully consider the validity or relevance of it today. You would have to be certifiable to not think that you need to review and amend for sociocultural evolution.

    As an aside by asserting the "USA [is] the best and most powerful country" then I immediately wonder if you have ever travelled very much to judge for yourself, and help you define what you really mean by 'best'. I am disinclined to throw a blanket over everything with that kind of statement, since I have travelled.

    That particular 200 year old principle as the right to bear arms certainly didn't make the USA 'the most powerful' or 'the best'. In any case there have been far more powerful, longer lasting empires governed in various ways, before the USA emerged as a superpower in 1945. Right now we're speaking in an era where the USA's global power and influence has already peaked some time ago, and is inevitably waning.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
    wiyosaya likes this.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,355   +4,987

    New laws are created all the time, to pacify the courts. If there are 200 year old laws still in effect and being enforced. It is because they are still relevant.
  19. Vulcanproject

    Vulcanproject TS Evangelist Posts: 730   +1,056

    That argument is a fallacy. Just because it's X years old and it's still around doesn't mean it should be immune from careful revision or potential amendment. The reasons have to be better than 'it's old'.

    I hate to go there but slavery was protected in the constitution for a long time. Until it wasn't.

    I'm not hating on the constitution here because the real failures lie with today's law makers as I previously argued. Only being paralyzed by what some centuries old parchment vaguely mentions is ridiculous.

    However I don't really feel like this is the place for this kind of discussion any further so everyone enjoy your day (y)
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2018
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,355   +4,987

  21. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,550   +543

    You can legally buy a gun at a gun show with no background check what is the diff? Oh wait no lobbyist involved.
  22. phawkins

    phawkins TS Rookie

    We are a democratic Republic and not a true democracy. [/QUOTE]

    No. We are a "Constitutional Republic." No where EVER does it say anything about Democracy. Democracy is so that the common m***n actually thinks he has a choice with the "2 party system", again which we are NOT supposed to have...
  23. phawkins

    phawkins TS Rookie

    "That argument is a fallacy. Just because it's X years old and it's still around doesn't mean it should be immune from careful revision or potential amendment. The reasons have to be better than 'it's old'.

    spoken like a true Lawyer.... You know, the ones that have to revise, because they don't have the legal agility to deal directly with the translation of laws in the Constitution. We don't have the mental capacity to figure it out, so we can just modify it. And you relate how old is not necessarily good, than why is it that all of the legal Languages of Washington documents is still...I dunno...200 years old?
  24. Kotters

    Kotters TS Maniac Posts: 330   +223

    Let's clear some stuff up.

    Cody Wilson had legal action taken against him and Defense Distributed regarding the posting of firearms data on the open internet. The mechanism for this was ITAR, which blocks the exportation of certain technologies, weapons, and related material. Posting something on the internet is considered exportation, and thus the DoD took action.

    However, the DoD realized challenging this in court would likely result in ITAR being gutted on first amendment grounds, using the same arguments that resulted in Encryption being declassified as a munition and banned from export. Yes, Encryption technology was considered a weapon.

    To prevent ITAR from being gutted, the DoD reversed course and settled out of court, not only agreeing not to take Def Dist to court, but also agreeing to pay their court costs.

    With this in mind, several people have lost sight of the first amendment issue at hand regarding the free exchange of speech, ideas, and information. They saw the word "gun" and immediately leaped at the opportunity to stomp on it, without realizing they're effectively trying to trample on, not the second, but the first amendment. There's no legal grounds to block the exchange of technical data, and if you need an example of how poor the legal grounds are, look up United States v Progressive, Inc., who was taken to court by the federal government for attempting to publish the workings of the Hydrogen Bomb, at the time considered a state secret. The government backed down. Also look up Prior Restraint.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  25. VBKing

    VBKing TS Enthusiast Posts: 60   +28

    You seem to think that after the military went to 100 houses and took all the guns they found, that the rest of the country would just sit still and do nothing and let them come take their guns too. That's when Civil War 2 would break out. The gun owners wouldn't be going after or up against the military... they would be going after the government whether it be local, city, state or national. All hell would break loose. No politician or their family or relatives would ever be safe. There wouldn't be enough police and military to protect everyone. And also, you'd have to brainwash every military and police who are trying to take the guns, because many of them believe in the 2nd Amendment. It's not as simple as someone just SAYING all guns should be removed. Trying to do it impossible and would result in widespread bloodshed, looting, torched buildings and homes and utter chaos. There is NO simple solution, nor is there a complex solution either.

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