New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal went ahead with a lawsuit Monday seeking to bar a Texas company from releasing the schematics for 3-D printed guns. The suit was filed hours after the owner of the company announced he filed suit against the state's top cop.
Grewal’s suit, filed in Essex County Superior Court, seeks to block Defense Distributed, an online, open-source organization that develops digital firearms files, from publishing the schematics for 3-D printed plastic firearms – information that could allow residents to manufacture fully functional, untraceable guns out of their own homes, including AR-15-style assault rifles.
“These dangerous files would allow anyone – including terrorists, domestic abusers, felons, fugitives and juveniles – to print untraceable assault weapons using a 3-D printer from the comfort of their own homes,” Grewal said. “And because the guns would be printed without serial numbers, they would be untraceable by law enforcement, making it all the more difficult to solve crimes committed with these weapons.”
Earlier Monday, Cody Wilson, who owns Defense Distributed, announced his company had filed suit against Grewal and Michael Feuer, city attorney for Los Angeles.
The suit alleges any attempts to block the release of the schematics constitutes a violation of Wilson’s First Amendment rights and that of Defense Distributed and its clientele.
"Grewal and Feuer have threatened and intend to drag Defense Distributed before all manner of far-flung criminal and civil tribunals in an effort to silence the organization," the suits reads.
Defense Distributed, along with the guns-rights group Second Amendment Foundation, filed the suit Sunday in response to Grewal’s cease-and-desist letter from last week, in which Grewal threatened legal action if the schematics were released.
In 2013, the federal government sued Defense Distributed to stop it from publishing the 3-D schematics after Wilson posted a YouTube video of his first 3-D-printed plastic gun, a single-shot .380 caliber handgun dubbed “the Liberator.”
Following years of legal back-and-forth between the feds and Defense Distributed, the two ultimately reached a settlement earlier in 2018 that would allow for their publication.