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State AG Ferguson to file lawsuit over 3D-printed guns

State AG Ferguson to file lawsuit over 3D-printed guns

The controversy centers on Defense Distributed, a firm that began publishing gun designs in 2013, but was told to stop soon thereafter by the US State Department.

The Texas nonprofit, Defense Distributed, had put the plans for an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on its website Friday, and as of Sunday, 1,000 people nationwide already had downloaded them, according to Shapiro's office. With those instructions, anyone with a 3D printer will be able to manufacture their own guns, without completing the background checks or meeting other requirements mandated by state laws. Left unchecked, Americans would be able to download a wide range of actual, working guns, including AR-15s, and 3D print their own guns - without serial numbers and without being subjected to the background check system for gun sales now in place under federal and state law through licensed firearms dealers. Advocates say the files are protected by the First and Second Amendments in the U.S. Constitution.

The issue first surfaced in 2013 when the State Department went after Wilson, arguing that making the computer programming available globally via the internet put him afoul of USA laws on gun exports.

The administration of US President Donald Trump failed to explain why it settled the case and allowed the publication of the blueprints, Ferguson said. "Defense Distributed was promising to distribute guns in Pennsylvania in reckless disregard of the state laws that apply to gun sales and purchases in our Commonwealth". A few of the states have already taken more immediate action to block Defense Distributed from disseminating the digital firearm blueprints. The decision tonight to block Pennsylvania users from downloading these 3D gun files is a victory for public safety and common sense.

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Lost on Handler, Moore, and Milano is the fact that 3-D printed guns have been around for years. The federal government had prevailed at every step in the court process, according to PBS, until they suddenly agreed to settle Wilson's lawsuit out of court, allowing him to distribute the plans and even giving him $40,000 in legal fees.

In a new countersuit, Wilson's legal team argues his company is simply defending the right to bear arms. "We won't stand by as New Yorkers' safety is jeopardized by this abrupt about-face by the federal government". In 2015, the weapon designer, which was joined by a gun rights organization, sued after the US State Department forced the removal of the instruction manuals from the internet. But due to the pending legal battle, Wilson has made a decision to abide by the cease-and-desist orders, and will not make DEFCAD available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Los Angeles.

Ferguson announced Monday morning that he will file a lawsuit asking for a federal court to block the distribution of 3D printed gun designs.


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