Company selling 3D-printed gun blueprints despite court injunction

The founder of a company that had planned to distribute blueprints for producing plastic firearms using 3D printers says he started selling the plans today despite an injunction blocking it because of concerns about public safety.

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A federal judge in Seattle Monday extended the injunction blocking the nonprofit Defense Distributed from posting the plans online after a coalition of states and the District of Columbia said making plastic weapons available would create a public safety issue.

PHOTO: Cody Wilson holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop on Aug. 1, 2018, in Austin, Texas.Eric Gay/AP
Cody Wilson holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop on Aug. 1, 2018, in Austin, Texas.

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, said the judge’s decision was a “kneecapping and subversion” of his First Amendment rights, which the ruling said were outweighed by the states’ concerns about potential harm.

Wilson told reporters Tuesday that while the injunction blocks him from posting the files publicly, he is still able to sell them online and distribute them via email or mail on a USB drive.

PHOTO: A 3D printed gun, called the Liberator, is seen in a factory in Austin, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018.Kelly West/AFP/Getty Images
A 3D printed gun, called the “Liberator,” is seen in a factory in Austin, Texas, Aug. 1, 2018.

The company began selling them this morning, he said, adding that thousands of users have ordered the files or signed up to sell their own plans through his website.”

“Anyone who wants these files is going to get them,” Wilson told reporters. “I’m going to sell them to them, I’m going to ship them. That began this morning. That will never be interrupted.”

“The free exchange of these ideas will never be interrupted and now people can participate on my website. It’s not just me selling these files. I’m inviting the public to share their files.”

The lawsuit that prompted the extended injunction Monday was filed after Defense Distributed settled a lawsuit with the U.S. State Department that would have allowed the files to be posted publicly online. In Monday’s decision District Judge Robert Lasnik wrote that the law at issue in that case, the Arms Export Control Act, would have prohibited the plans from being posted online “but they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States.”

Wilson said his company is only selling plans to people in the United States at this time.

Washington is one of the states that sued to block Wilson from posting the files online. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Monday that the injunction put a stop to the dangerous policy and is now calling on the federal government to intervene.

“Because of our lawsuit, it is once again illegal to post downloadable gun files to the internet,” Ferguson said in a statement. “I trust the federal government will hold Cody Wilson, a self-described ‘crypto-anarchist,’ accountable to that law. If they don’t, President Trump will be responsible for anyone who is hurt or killed as a result of these weapons.”

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