False Start at Downloading for 3D Printed Assault Rifles
AUSTIN, TX – July 31, 2018
As we wrote before, starting Wednesday, Americans will be able to legally download 3D printed gun plans. But despite a court agreement barring access until Wednesday, more than 1,000 people have already downloaded plans to make AR-style, 3D printed guns, officials said.
The office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro sent out a press release on Monday, announcing the downloads.
“The [digital firearms] company, Defense Distributed, had promised that on August 1, ‘the age of the downloadable gun formally begins,'” said Shapiro’s office. “Today, the defendants claimed in court that they began distributing gun files even earlier — on Friday. By Sunday, 1,000 people had already downloaded 3D plans for AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles.”
Josh Blackman, a lawyer for the company, confirmed Monday that more than 1,000 people had gotten their hands on the weapons information — but he refused to admit that it was all downloaded between Friday and Sunday.
“This is a free speech case. This isn’t a gun case,” he told CNN. “One state cannot censor the speech of a citizen in another state.”
Defense Distributed, developing drawings for weapons produced on 3D printers, won a lawsuit against the US State Department. Soon Americans will be able to legally download schematics for guns and machine guns, the components of which can be printed on printers with layer-by-layer creation of physical objects by digital three-dimensional models.
Cody Wilson's organization is allowed to publish 3D-printed gun blueprints with cartridges less than 12,7×99 mm (caliber .50 BMG). However, automatic weapons and guns that use caseless ammunition are still banned. On its website Defense Distributed will publish its flagship developments in CAD format. Also available on its website is a milling device — known as Ghost Gunner — that can turn parts easily purchased online into a fully working gun.
It’s necessary to remind people that, according to the 2015 report of ARES (the American consulting company), the production of weapons on 3D printers costs much more than its acquisition on the black market.
However, Attorney Generals from more than 20 states sent a letter on Monday to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, asking them to pull out of the settlement.
“As the chief law enforcement officers of our states, we believe the settlement terms and proposed rules are deeply dangerous and could have an unprecedented impact on public safety,” the letter said. “In addition to helping arm terrorists and transnational criminals, the settlement and proposed rules would provide another path to gun ownership for people who are prohibited by federal and state law from possessing firearms.”