Injunction Granted in State AG's Challenge to 3D Gun Printing Settlement

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, third right, speaks with media members following a hearing where a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns, Tuesday, July 31, 2018, in Seattle. Ferguson was among eight Democratic attorneys general who filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the federal government's settlement with the company that makes the plans available online. They also sought a restraining order, arguing the 3D guns would be a safety risk. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

In a case of extreme delayed reaction, eight states filed suit against the Trump administration Monday, July 30, to block a civil lawsuit settlement that was announced on July 10 from going into effect on August 1. Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, a leading gun control advocate and pawn of Bloomberg, is leading the charge.


A United States District Court judge heard arguments on a preliminary injunction Tuesday afternoon and granted Plaintiff’s motion, temporarily nullifying the settlement.

The case, if you haven’t already seen it all over CNN, is concerning Defense Distributed’s ability to resume posting CAD plans to print guns using a 3D printer on their website. Within a week after Defense Distributed posted CAD plans on its website in 2013, the State Department ordered them to remove the files, saying such posting violated International Trafficking in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Defense Distributed complied, but filed a lawsuit against the State Department in 2015 challenging the order. In June of this year the parties entered a Settlement Agreement. As noted in the states’ lawsuit:

As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Government promised to: (i) draft and fully pursue a notice of rulemaking and a final rule to remove the CAD files at issue from ITAR jurisdiction; (ii) temporarily modify Category I of the USML (United States Munitions List) to exclude the files at issue from ITAR; (iii) issue a letter to Defense Distributed advising that its files are exempt from ITAR and “approved for public release (i.e., unlimited distribution)”; and (iv) permit “any United States person” to “use, reproduce or otherwise benefit from” the files at issue.

The settlement was announced July 10, 22 days before it was to take effect. Until around July 25, there wasn’t much noise made about the settlement except on gun blogs and in libertarian and conservative media. Then, suddenly, the pending availability of the plans on Defense Distributed’s site threatened to destroy Western Civilization. The fact that the CAD files were downloaded over 100,000 times before Defense Distributed removed them in 2013, or that the files had been continuously available via bit torrent since that time, was totally ignored by The Usual Suspects.

Shannon Watts, Michael Bloomberg, and the Brady Campaign quickly sprang into action, filing for an emergency injunction to prevent the settlement from taking effect. The judge denied the motion Friday, July 27.

Then Monday afternoon, the intrepid Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson held a press conference announcing the filing of the suit, not coincidentally filed in the 9th Circuit. As per usual, Ferguson’s rhetoric bore little resemblance to the truth, with him claiming the settlement allowed criminals “plug and play access” to firearms.

“I have a question for the Trump Administration: Why are you allowing dangerous criminals easy access to weapons?” Ferguson said. “These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history. If the Trump Administration won’t keep us safe, we will.”


This particular access has been available to anyone with an internet connection and the ability to pay for a 3D printer and the supplies for at least five years, and it’s not illegal for people to manufacture their own firearms. They’ve done so for centuries.Nevertheless, the CAD files will not be available on Defense Distributed’s site for the foreseeable future.


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