3d printed guns blueprints will no longer be published on the internet. This is after a Seattle federal judge overturned a ruling that allowed the publishing of the blueprints online. In July 2018, an earlier ruling to ban the publishing of gun blueprints online was nullified. The verdict made during Obama’s administration had termed the designs to violate the government export laws. This is because people outside the United States were able to download the blueprints.
However, this did not last long. Shortly after the Trump’s administration changed that ruling, Washington DC and 19 states sued the administration of Trump. They were seeking to undo the reversal and block the 3D gun blueprints from the internet.
Judge Robert Lasnik has ruled that the ruling made by the Obama State Department was legal. Lasnik, who had issued a restraining order last week, says that the Justice Department violated federal law. He stated that the State Department did not notify Congress before its decision last year. Lasnik explained that the State Department failed to provide a proper explanation for its previous ruling that overturned the decision.
Lasnik described the decision by Trump’s administration as an “arbitrary and capricious” breaking of federal law. He said that it needs the government to do “do more than simply announce a contrary position.”
Lasnik commented: “No findings of fact or other statements are provided in the settlement agreement [to allow the blueprints for 3D-printed guns online] that address, much less invalidate, the federal government’s prior analysis regarding the likely impacts of publication on national security or world peace or that otherwise explain the federal government’s change of position.”
According to Defense Distributed, making the CAD files accessible online was a subject of freedom of speech.
Lasnik also noted that perspectives of the issue that Congress considered necessary were not recognized.
“This ruling is a vindication of sound decision-making on matters that would have a profound impact on public safety. Without question, the release of step-by-step instructions for the production of untraceable and undetectable firearms would threaten the safety of not only our nation’s residents, but people around the globe.
The court ultimately found the Trump Administration acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it determined to move forward with such a plan, and we completely agree.” Attorney General Letitia James said this in a comment regarding Lasnik’s ruling.
Chad Flores, the company’s lawyer, and Defense Distributed is likely to appeal the ruling. In a statement, they said, “The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech from all abridgment, including indirect censorship efforts like this one. And states aren’t allowed to commandeer the federal government to do their unconstitutional bidding, even under the guise of statutory technicalities.”
The battle has just begun. Defense Distributed will likely overcome any ruling the same way it has done before. Previously, it had opted to send out the 3D blueprints through regular mail instead of publishing them online. The saga is far from over, considering the dispute has been there since 2013.