The Debate Over 3D Printed Guns Rages on Around the US

A settlement between gun-rights activists and the government has cleared the way to post plans for 3D printed guns online

The 3D printed guns have been a source of debate ever since Texas company Defense Distributed successfully sued for the right to post the blueprints online, arguing free speech claims.

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. In response, Wilson has taken down his site and models, but he will be continuing the legal fight.

The lawsuit challenges the outcome of a 2015 case that began in 2013 when Wilson, head of the nonprofit Defense Distributed, was found to have violated a federal law known as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR), after publishing downloadable plans for 3D-printed guns online.

Defense Distributed agreed to temporarily block Pennsylvania residents from downloading the plans after state officials went to federal court in Philadelphia on Sunday seeking an emergency order.

Trump spokesman Hogan Gidley made much the same point, saying the administration supports the law against wholly plastic guns, including those made with a 3D printer.

"It is immediately obvious to anyone who looks at this issue that 3D-printed guns are nothing short of a menace to society, and we are thrilled that the court ruled in this manner", stated Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign. "The files are in the public domain you can not take them back", Mr. Wilson said during an interview for "CBS This Morning".

They are often called "ghost guns" because it's possible for people to make their own firearm without the serial number which allows cops to trace them.

Gun access advocacy group Defense Distributed published downloadable gun blueprints five days early on Friday.

The 3D-printed gun controversy first blew up in 2013.

U.S. District Judge Robert S. Lasnik ordered that plans to release the code on Wednesday stop and reimposed the original restrictions blocking the publication.

But eight states and the District of Columbia sued the government on Monday to block the settlement, arguing the untraceable guns were a safety risk. "Right now 3D-printing of firearms is in its infancy, you're not making great guns, you're making curiosities".

President Trump on Tuesday weighed in on 3D-printed guns - a day after eight U.S. states sued the government for an emergency ban on blueprints for the potentially untraceable weapons.

People can use the blueprints to manufacture plastic guns using a 3D printer. "Already spoke to the NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" the president tweeted.

Blueprints for the weapons will appear online a month after gun-rights group Defense Distributed settled with the government to permit them to share them on the internet.

Defense Distributed's files include 3-D printable blueprints for components that would go into the making of a version of the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, a weapon that has been used in many USA mass shootings.

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