Published: Fri, August 03, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Seattle Judge Blocks Release of Documents on How to Make Guns

Seattle Judge Blocks Release of Documents on How to Make Guns

A US judge on Tuesday blocked the planned release of 3-D printed gun blueprints hours before they were set to hit the internet, siding with states that sued to halt publication of designs to make weapons that security screening may not detect.

Undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for decades but the blue prints for the weapons are out there and thousands have been downloading them.

In a statement, Mr Ferguson said: "These downloadable guns are unregistered and very hard to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history". They also sought a restraining order, arguing the 3D-printed guns would be a safety risk.

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Although the Austin-based company said it would start allowing downloads on Wednesday, the blueprints for at least one gun have been posted on its website since Friday. It had been downloaded more than 4,500 downloads as of Tuesday afternoon, and models for the AR-15, the second-most popular firearm, had been downloaded more than 3,000 times.

The company filed its own suit in Texas on Sunday (Monday NZT), asserting that it's the victim of an "ideologically fueled program of intimidation and harassment" that violates the company's First Amendment rights. The Trump administration reversed course, agreeing to allow Defense Distributed to publish the tutorials online.

But gun rights advocates, like Ben Hertel, who manages Rocklin Armory, disagree.

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A Texas company called Defense Distributed is now fighting a legal battle over publication of plans which would allow gun lovers to print out firearms including a replica of the notorious AR-15 assault rifle, which has been used in a number of mass shootings. But President Donald Trump didn't seem too concerned. He says this is just another way of doing it.

Trump tweeted that he has already spoken with the National Rifle Association about the downloadable directions a Texas company wants to provide for people to make 3D-printed guns. "Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA's support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm", said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA Institute for Legislative Action. "Making a gun with a 3D printer is kind of like using a screw driver to hammer a nail in- like you can probably get the job done but it's not going to work very well and you might injure yourself", Dukes added. He said the Seattle court's restraining order violates First Amendment rights: "We were disappointed in the ruling and view it as a massive prior restraint of free speech". A follow-up hearing will be held August 10.

A judge has blocked the publication of blueprints for parts of a gun that can be made by a 3D printer and, it is claimed, would be undetectable.

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The states, in their filing on Monday, argued the online plans will give criminals easy access to weapons by circumventing traditional sales and regulations.

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