Trump administration's deal to allow 3D-printed gun blueprints online ruled illegal

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

Back in 2018, the Defense Department reached a deal as part of a settlement with non-profit Defense Distributed, which in 2013 claimed to have created the world’s first working 3D-printed pistol, the “Liberator.”

The Obama State Department had banned blueprints of 3D-printed guns being posted online, claiming it was a violation of export laws, but in July last year, the Justice Department settled a 2015 lawsuit with Defense Distributed, allowing the guns’ plans to be published.

Defense Distributed’s argument that banning the blueprints was a free speech violation hasn’t sat well with Judge Robert Lasnik, who yesterday said that the settlement deal was an “arbitrary and capricious” violation of the federal Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution.

As the ruling was a summary judgment, the case will not go to trial, but Defense Distributed will appeal. “The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech from all abridgment, including indirect censorship efforts like this one,” Chad Flores, a lawyer for the company, told Bloomberg. “And states aren’t allowed to commandeer the federal government to do their unconstitutional bidding, even under the guise of statutory technicalities.”

Defense Distributed could use the same trick it did in the past to circumvent the ban. When the company was issued with an earlier injunction by a Seattle court, it used regular mail to send the blueprints directly to customers.

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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
As much sense as it makes, you can find all sorts of plans all over the internet for the original and several variations of plastic guns including several that will fire multiple rounds like a revolver.
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
And its an interesting decision. The judge ruled that since the plans are freely available, posting them online would make it easy for terrorists, enemies of the state, etc., to access and build them. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-3d-guns-idUSKBN1XM2SJ
Lasnik cited the State Department’s prior view that publishing such instructions could threaten U.S. foreign policy, national security and even world peace by enabling criminals, including terrorists outside the United States, to obtain the firearms.

“Against these findings, the federal defendants offer nothing” to support the reversal, the Seattle-based judge wrote. “Because the agency action was arbitrary and capricious, it is unlawful and must be set aside.”
For me, its a good decision. The 2nd Amendment was clearly not meant to arm those who would fight against the US.
 
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lipe123

TS Evangelist
And yet, building actual metal guns/cannons is 100% legal and there are TONS of online guides on how to do that.
Typical things like a standard pipe being used to fire shotgun shells is as old as time itself and everyone and their mom can figure that out.

Even if you can print your own gun at home, how are you going to get ammo for it? Oh riiiight USA has no gun or ammo control or checks. Any teenager can just walk into any gun store and buy 10000 9mm rounds with no questions asked.

CLEARLY the problem is that people can print guns, also lmfao about terrorists will copy the online models and buy a $5000 3d printer to print one gun that takes 8+ hours? And can only fire 1-10 shots before its broken. They totally wont buy a case of ak47's from russia for $25.

This entire lawsuit is tone deaf AF. This is focusing on the smallest most significant thing and making a huge deal about it instead of the actual problems. How many people get killed with 3d printed plastic guns vs AR15's for example?
 
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wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
And yet, building actual metal guns/cannons is 100% legal and there are TONS of online guides on how to do that.
Typical things like a standard pipe being used to fire shotgun shells is as old as time itself and everyone and their mom can figure that out.

Even if you can print your own gun at home, how are you going to get ammo for it? Oh riiiight USA has no gun or ammo control or checks. Any teenager can just walk into any gun store and buy 10000 9mm rounds with no questions asked.

CLEARLY the problem is that people can print guns, also lmfao about terrorists will copy the online models and buy a $5000 3d printer to print one gun that takes 8+ hours? And can only fire 1-10 shots before its broken. They totally wont buy a case of ak47's from russia for $25.

This entire lawsuit is tone deaf AF. This is focusing on the smallest most significant thing and making a huge deal about it instead of the actual problems. How many people get killed with 3d printed plastic guns vs AR15's for example?
Maybe they will start going after all online weapons plans.

As for terrorists being able to afford a $5k printer, some of them are well-funded and even if they are not, then there are other means to get one.

But this is the courts and the court case was not fought on the probabilities of terrorists being able afford a pricey 3D printer. What was at question was the state department's justification - really a lack thereof - for supporting the release of 3D gun plans - which was a total reversal of its previous stance.
 

lipe123

TS Evangelist
Maybe they will start going after all online weapons plans.

As for terrorists being able to afford a $5k printer, some of them are well-funded and even if they are not, then there are other means to get one.

But this is the courts and the court case was not fought on the probabilities of terrorists being able afford a pricey 3D printer. What was at question was the state department's justification - really a lack thereof - for supporting the release of 3D gun plans - which was a total reversal of its previous stance.
1. Good luck applying american laws to "the internet" globally.

2a. The point is if you can drop 5k on a 3D printer you can buy 10+ fully automatic rifles with a bunch of ammo instead in 1/100th of the time to print a few guns.
2b. 3D Printed guns are FAR less effective/accurate/durable/reliable than conventional weapons. It's fearmongering and illogical to use terrorists as the reasoning against it.

3. The justification is some part free speech and some part stifling innovation. There is no good reason to ban it. A kitchen knife is much easier, has about the same range and also is not tracked. No one is banning the making of knives and swords though.
As I've already pointed out, it's more likely that someone will use a 3d printed gun for personal defense rather than to go commit a ton of murders. There is then a legitimate use case for having it and almost none of banning it.

Great way to waste money on stupid court cases.
 

cliffordcooley

TS Redneck
The 3d printed fire arms will pass security check points easily enough. That is likely the reasoning behind banning blueprints. Although I do think it is pointless in trying.
 

wizardB

TS Booster
I made one it worked perfectly so I printed a large capacity mag for an AR15 it works perfectly too. This technology cannot be stopped any more than they could stop the downloading of music and instead they adapted. The blueprints are everywhere there is noway to control them.
 

treetops

TS Evangelist
You could always just go to a gun show in Arizona, the seller can legally sell anyone a gun with no ID or background check of any kind. You could sell a 7 year old an UZI and not be legally responsible. As long as it's at a gun show.
 

Danny101

TS Guru
I would think terrorists would want real guns and there are plenty of state actors willing to make and sell guns to them. It's a weak argument. It's a decision first and foremost against the 2A. This government has been slicing and dicing at Constitutional freedoms and don't want an armed and angry population tha's growing more fed up. The campaign against the 2A will continue and escalate.
 
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