U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- On Tuesday, July 3`1st, 2018,, Defense Distributed put a pause on the release of the 3D printed files in light of multiple lawsuits from various states across the country.
At the same time, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order to prevent the sharing of the 3D data files on defcad.org.
Twenty-one state attorney generals have sent letters to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of State and Mike Pompeo calling on them to reverse the government decision to allow defense distributed to release their files for 3D printed firearm files.
In the letter, The attorney generals state that the State Department's decision was “deeply dangerous and could have an unprecedented impact on public safety.”
This statement shows a total lack of understanding of current laws or that of 3D printing technology.
Eight states and the District of Columbia have joined in a lawsuit in Seattle that successfully blocked Defense Distributed from releasing the files online. It is unclear how a Seattle judge would have jurisdiction in this case considering that Defense Distributed host the website in Austin, Texas and Defense Distributed is a Texas-based nonprofit. Outsiders could very easily see this choice of Seattle as a case of Judge shopping.
Cody Wilson and The Second Amendment Foundation sued the State Department in 2015 claiming that the State Department was violating his and Defense Distributed First Amendment rights by preventing him from publishing the files on his website. The Department of State initially argued that by Defense Distributed posting the data on defcad.org the non-profit violated International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which controls the export of firearms and firearm parts.
At the time the State Department compared the sharing of the files online to driving to Mexico and handing out firearms on the streets. Earlier this month Wilson reached an agreement with the State Department which would allow him to share the 3D printing files on the defcad.org website.
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Giffords Law Center sued Defense Distributed in federal court attempting to block the release of the files online. The courts dismissed that case because these anti-gun groups did not have the standing to bring a temporary restraining order against Defense Distributed.
The Attorney General for New Jersey and the City Attorney for Los Angeles started sending letters to Defense Distributed threatening legal action if they proceeded to share the files online. Defense Distributed has since filed a lawsuit against both of these jurisdictions claiming harassment. That case is still pending.
On Tuesday the Attorney General from New Jersey tried to institute a nationwide takedown of the defcad.org site through a court order. The courts denied his motion.
The state of Pennsylvania has won a temporary agreement from Defense Distributed blocking Pennsylvania residents from downloading the files. Defense Distributed is filing a motion to free its companies of such restraints and would once again let defense distributed share the files with Pennsylvania residents.
Democrats from both the House of Representatives and Senate have introduced legislation to block 3D printed guns. Firearms that can defeat metal detectors are already illegal, so it is unclear how this legislation would make Americans any safer. That legislation against undetectable firearms was based on a misconception of Glocks due to a single throwaway line from Die Hard 2. Even Donald Trump took to Twitter to say he was looking into 3D printed guns.
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
It seems like the plan is to tie up Defense Distributed in court until the non-profit runs out of money to fight the suites or laws can be passed to prevent the files from being shared.
The government and anti-gun groups are not the only people trying to stop Defense Distributed and his release of the files. Defcad.org has been under denial-of-service attacks from hackers trying to prevent the downloading of the plans before Defense Distributed pulled the files from their site.
The files went live on Friday. One file the Liberator, which Wilson named after the World War II gun of the same name, is a single shot .380ACP pistol. As of Tuesday afternoon, the plans for the Liberator have been downloaded over 5,000 times.
A quick search of the internet found these files now being shared across multiple sites and on numerous peer-to-peer file-sharing software. Even if defcad.org gets shut down, there is a no way to scrub the internet of the files. A lack of understanding of technology seems to be at play here.
Scott Martelle penned a column in The LA Times calling for the government to ban the software that is used to produce 3D printed guns. What Martelle and the LA Times does not understand is that software that is used to print guns is not unique to firearms and is used in literally thousands of other applications including the parts of the servers that the LA Times is hosted on.
This issue of the sharing of 3D firearms files isn't just a Second Amendment case but is also a case that can have a chilling and far-reaching effect on freedom of speech in America. It is a perfect storm of overreaction and lack of understanding of current laws and technology. What will they ban next, books on gun-smithing?
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on leftist deplatforming methods and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, on Facebook at realjohncrump, or at www.crumpy.com.