State AGs Ask Trump Administration To Remove 3D Gun Print Files

Twenty-five state attorneys general, led by Bob Ferguson of Washington state, sent a letter to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and U.S. Attorney General William Barr asking for the Trump Administration to remove blueprint files that allow for the creation of guns using a 3D printer from the Internet.

In addition to Ferguson, attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia signed the letter.

Defense Distributed has posted the files at issue online. The AGs states that the company is “run by a ‘crypto-anarchist’ dedicated to ‘evading and disintermediating’ federal and state gun-safety laws.” The company “has recently resumed making computer files for the production of 3D-printed firearms available on its website.”  The AGs want the government to make sure that Defense Distributed complies with the law.

The AGs claim that the “files are on the United States Munitions List, and posting them on the internet without federal authorization appears to violate federal export law. Further, these files enable the automatic manufacture of functional plastic weapons, in violation of the federal Undetectable Firearms Act.” The States fear that this could greatly hurt public safety, as well as national and domestic security. There is significant concern that these weapons will be undetectable, especially in places such as schools, airports, arenas and other public venues.

The AGs believe that controlling the dissemination of these files online is in the best interest of the country. The AGs claim that the government stated, “[i]n the absence of controls on the export, reexport, or in-country transfer of such technology and software, such items could be easily used in the proliferation of conventional weapons, the acquisition of destabilizing numbers of such weapons, or for acts of terrorism.” Additionally, anyone can access these files and produce a functioning firearm, “even if that person is ineligible to possess a firearm due to their age, criminal history, or other disqualifying factor.” Defense Distributed’s 3D files allow for undetectable weapons because they are not made out of metal and therefore will not be detected by a standard metal detector and they are untraceable because these weapons will not have serial numbers. As a result, the AGs argue that the government should remove these files for safety and security measures. The AGs also want to government to act quickly to ensure Defense Distributed complies with federal laws and regulations.

In January, twenty-one states sued the federal government for allowing Defense Distributed’s 3D-printed gun files to be distributed online. In March, the states won a preliminary injunction against the federal government.