Seattle, Washington –-(Ammoland.com)-On Monday, a Seattle based federal judge will decide whether to permanently block Defense Distributed from being able to distribute their 3D printed firearms files.
On July 31st, The Washington State's attorney general requested a temporary injunction against Defense Distributed from releasing the files. Judge Robert S. Lasnik of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington granted the injunction citing risk to public safety.
“If an injunction is not issued and the status quo alters at midnight tonight, the proliferation of these firearms will have many of the negative impacts on a state level that the federal government once feared on the international stage,” Lasnik said.
Eighteen state's attorney generals have asked the court to make the decision a permanent injunction. The temporary order against Defense Distributed is set to expire on Monday night at midnight.
Since the State Department reached an agreement with Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed on the recommendation of the Department of Justice several government officials have worried that these files could let criminals print undetectable firearms at home.
In reality, the firearms are not undetectable since firing pins, and the ammunition is still metal. Also, the printer needed to turn out Wilson's Liberator 3D printed gun is not the same type of home 3D printers that cost several hundred of dollars. The required printer runs tens of thousands of dollars. The Liberator is also only a single shot pistol.
In 2013 Wilson released the plans for the Liberator on the Internet for download. The Department of State stepped in and demanded that Wilson pull down the files claiming that releasing the data online was akin to driving guns to Mexico thus violating ITAR. This accusation was after the government facilitated the driving on actual firearms to Mexico in the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal. Wilson launched a lawsuit against the Department of State in response to the government’s order.
The Department of Justice filed a brief stating that the State's attorney generals have misread the State Department's decision. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pointed out that undetectable firearms are already illegal and the State Department's decision to allow the release of the files does not change that law.
AG Sessions was referencing the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988. Congress passed that law due to misconceptions about the polymer-based Glock 17. In “Die Hard 2” Bruce Willis's character John McClane references the undetectable “Glock 7” that the terrorist was using to take over Dulles Airport. Anti-gun advocates used the throwaway line to get further gun laws passed by Congress.
The brief also highlights the fact that the State Department doesn't have the legal power to ban US citizens from accessing information even if the person who is obtaining the data plans to misuse it. The State Department is the diplomatic wing of the federal government and cannot pass domestic laws or make domestic regulations.
Even though Defense Distributed cannot distribute the files on the Internet, people can still easily find them in multiple locations. Links to Drop Boxes containing the data litter social media platforms, and they can be downloaded through peer to peer file sharing platforms such as Bit Torrent.
Wilson and Defense Distributed launched a fundraising campaign in hopes of raising $400,000 to help fight the multiple lawsuits trying to shut down the distribution of the plans.
This issue doesn't just deal with Second Amendment rights but also has far-reaching effects on First Amendment rights on the people.
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.