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The battle over 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

The battle over 3D-printed 'ghost guns'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday raised concerns about the sale of plastic guns made with 3-D printers, a day after several US states sued his administration to block online publication of designs to make weapons that security screening may not detect.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley expanded on the president's comments Tuesday night, telling reporters: "It is now illegal to own or make a wholly plastic gun of any kind - including those made on a 3D printer". "There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made", he said.

Defense Distributed reached a settlement with the U.S. State Department last month which would've allowed it to release blueprints for guns - including AR-15-like rifles - that could be downloaded and built with the help of 3D printers. Miller said the cost and skill it takes to make a 3D-printed gun will keep crooks from buying them.

"As we argued in the suit we filed yesterday, it is - simply - insane to give criminals the tools to build untraceable, undetectable 3D printed guns at the touch of a button".

Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed his 32 lawsuit against the Trump Administration on Monday challenging the administration's policy that would allow the posting and sharing of plans to make usable guns with ordinary 3D-printers.

But it is unclear how effective the temporary restraining order is since the schematics for one of its guns - The Liberator - were posted on the company's website on Friday - five days ahead of the company's announced release date.

Josh Blackman, a lawyer representing the company behind the 3D-printed gun, said Wednesday that Defense Distributed may appeal the restraining order.

"The argument can go either way because you can say that code is speech, in a sense that a recipe is speech", Nott said.

The arguments began in 2013 when self-styled crypto-anarchist Cody Wilson showed off the world's first 3D-printed gun. State Department officials said the plans violated USA export laws.

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"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public, " Trump said on Twitter.

And Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican, said, "People shouldn't be under the impression they can download this and make an undetectable firearm".

The latest: Yesterday, a federal judge in Seattle granted a temporary nationwide injunction that will prevent the models from being posted online.

A 1988 federal law - drafted with NRA support - barred the manufacture, sale or possession of an undetectable firearm. Oregon's attorney general, Ellen Rosenblum, called releasing the plans online an utter disregard for public safety.

Sen. Chuck Schumer questioned Trump - as the president's administration settled a case with Defense Distributed to make the blueprints available.

A United States federal judge in Seattle has blocked the release of software that allows consumers to 3D-print firearms.

Some gun rights groups point out laws allow people to make their own guns now and say this isn't all that different.

Although this entire legal battle started with claims of censorship and prior restraint under the First Amendment mixed with the Second Amendment right to bear arms, it has morphed into a battle between the states and the federal government over a failure to follow procedure.


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