Federal Judge Blocks Downloads of 3D-Printed Gun Plans

Federal judge halts release of 3d printed gun blueprints

Blueprints for a 3D-printed gun will not appear online at midnight after a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order that blocked the company from releasing them on Aug. 1. 

The lawsuit was filed by eight Democratic attorneys on Monday and sought to block a settlement the federal government reached with Defense Distributed, a gun manufacturer in Austin, Texas. The company originally posted the blueprints for the "Liberator" pistol to its website in 2013, but was forced to take them down after the State Department accused them of violating the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) since some of the people downloading them were from another country.

The company sued, and after a lengthy legal battle, the State Department agreed to allow the company to resume posting the blueprints to their website in June. The restraining order issued this afternoon puts an end to that for now.

At least eight states have filed suit to block the settlement, calling the plastic weapons a "boon" for terrorists, criminals, and other threats to public safety. 

People who own a 3D printer can use the blueprints to create plastic guns that would be difficult to trace and easy to conceal. However, the guns are often brittle and fall apart after a few shots, unlike a traditional firearm and would be an unlikely choice for a criminal supporters say. 

Earlier today, Trump tweeted that he had already spoken with the National Rifle Association about the blueprints and that he would be looking into the 3D-printed gun issue, adding that it "doesn't seem to make much sense!"

Photo: Getty Images

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