The release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D printed plastic guns was blocked by a federal judge on Tuesday, July 31.
Judge Robert Lansik ruled that it is illegal to post the design instructions, despite hundreds of designs already downloaded before the judge’s decision. Lansik sided with the states who argued the public postings could help criminals and terrorists in manufacturing such weapons.
The Texas-based gun rights organization Defense Distributed was the company spearheading the plans that would have been allowed to publish their own weapon designs for 3D printing, with “The age of the downloadable gun formally begins” appearing on Defense Distributed’s website.
In a statement he made on Anderson Cooper 360, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said: “This is a nationwide ban […] It takes us back to a period of time before the federal government flipped on their policy regarding these 3D ghost guns.” He also called the ruling a “complete, total victory.”
Ferguson is leading the multi-state lawsuit against the Trump Administration that was filed in Seattle’s federal court.
Cody Wilson, a self-described anarchist and founder of Defense Distributed, sued the American government in 2015 after Obama’s administration forced him to delete the blueprints he posted online in 2013 for a plastic, 3D-printed single-shot pistol called “The Liberator.”
The post was downloaded over 100,000 times before its removal.
He was accused of violating federal export laws governing military hardware because his blueprints could be downloaded and used to make weapons outside of the United States.
The previous administration’s position was reversed in June. The Trump administration gave Wilson the permission to repost his blueprints online and was supposed to do so today.
Both Democrats and Republicans expressed their concern over the threat “ghost guns” would pose to the public. Even U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted out that “it doesn’t seem to make much sense!”
“Even as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment — this is not right,” Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski tweeted, in response to CNN’s coverage of 3D-printable guns being made legal.
The NRA’s political arm executive director Chris W. Cox says that “undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years,” and a federal law passed in 1988 forbids the manufacture, sale or possession of an undetectable firearm.
Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley mirrors the same position, saying the administration supports the law against wholly plastic guns, including those made with a 3D printer.