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Ban on 3D-Printed Gun Instructions Will Remain

A federal judge extended the ban on Monday
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 27, 2018 7:00 PM CDT
Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay, file)

(Newser) – A federal judge in Seattle on Monday extended his previous ruling that barred uploading instructions for making 3D-printed guns to the Internet, the Hill reports. The existing ban instituted last month was set to expire on Tuesday,per Reuters. Now, the restriction will be in place until the case is resolved. Cody Wilson—founder of Defense Distributed, which wants to publish the 3D-print gun instructions—argues that the ban conflicts with his First Amendment right to free speech. However, US District Judge Robert Lasnik writes that concerns about Wilson's First Amendment rights are "dwarfed by the irreparable harm the states are likely to suffer" if the ban is lifted.

In July, 19 states and the District of Columbia sued the federal government over a settlement between the Trump administration and Defense Distributed to allow the publication of the gun-making instructions. In the suit, they say publication of the instructions will result in easy access to guns by criminals, adding that the Trump administration never explained why it settled the case. Gun control proponents are worried that 3D-printed guns will be untraceable "ghost" guns, while others say the threat is overblown. Administration officials have said that it's already illegal to make undetectable, all-plastic guns. (Read more gun control stories.)

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