Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, has found his 3-D technology in the middle of a legal panic.
UPDATED: Attorneys for Defense Distributed of Austin, Texas and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a federal lawsuit on Sunday against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer, alleging that both men are attempting prior restraint against Wilson’s First Amendment rights regarding online publication of 3-D technology related to printing firearm components.
It is just one element of a controversy that has erupted over the weekend after a federal judge in Texas ruled against anti-gunners who were trying to derail a settlement between Defense Distributed and the Justice Department that allows online publication of 3-D printer technology related to production of so-called “Ghost Guns.” Because of that ruling, anti-gun officials in at least four states are now trying, or have announced intentions to try, blocking publication of the information.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin, “these state and municipal officers from across the country cannot veto Defense Distributed’s constitutionally-protected and federally-licensed speech.
“The Defendants’ threatened legal actions violate the First Amendment speech rights of Defense Distributed and its audience,” according to the complaint, “including SAF’s members; run afoul of the Dormant Commerce Clause; infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of those who would make use of the knowledge disseminated by Defense Distributed; constitute a tortious interference with Defense Distributed’s business; and are in any event, federally pre-empted by Congress’s export control laws as well as Defense Distributed’s export license, by which the State Department has explicitly authorized the speech that the Defendants are seeking to silence.”
In Washington State, anti-gun Democrat Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced he will file a lawsuit against the Trump administration over the Justice Department’s settlement of the Defense Distributed case. According to KING News, the local NBC affiliate, “Once released, critics worry the plans would allow anyone with a computer and a 3D printer to create an unregistered and potentially untraceable firearm.” Ferguson has filed several lawsuits against the administration since Trump took office, and this lawsuit will seek a nationwide injunction, KING reported.
A far-left Seattle-based activist group, Seattle Indivisible, is also encouraging its supporters to contact Washington’s two U.S. Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to protest the Defense Distributed agreement and make it illegal. Here’s a snip explaining how to call and leave a message:
The State of Pennsylvania has also taken action to prevent the Defense Distributed 3-D technology release. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, an emergency hearing was held Sunday evening in federal court in which Defense Distributed “agreed to block Pennsylvania internet users from downloading its files for making firearms with a 3D printer — for now.” That came after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro filed a lawsuit along with Gov. Tom Wolf and the State Police, arguing that “the harm to Pennsylvanians would have been immediate and irreversible,” the newspaper reported.
And on Capitol Hill, according to the Daily Star, “dozens of” lawmakers “are demanding that the Trump administration explain” the Justice Department’s agreement with Defense Distributed. This battle appears far from being finished.