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Texas 3-D gun company holds off on publishing plans, NJ AG says

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A series of emergency rulings from state and federal judges on Tuesday, including one in New Jersey, have halted a Texas company's plans to publish blueprints online for 3-D printed guns.

On Tuesday afternoon, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced on Twitter that an Essex County judge had ordered Texas-based Defense Distributed not to publish the files, which it planned to do Aug. 1.

“After NJ takes him to court, [owner Cody] Wilson agrees not to post any new dangerous 3D printable guns until our September hearing,” Grewal tweeted. “Court orders him to keep his word. The fight for public safety continues.”

A federal judge in Seattle issued a similar ruling that same day, after the attorneys general in eight states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit in Seattle to block the release, earlier in the morning.

Meanwhile, Democrats in both the House and Senate unveiled legislation to ban 3-D printed guns, and U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted that he was “looking into” the matter.

The guns are made almost entirely of plastic, opponents argue, making them untraceable and undetectable, such as in metal detectors. And anyone with access to 3-D printer could produce the guns.

Grewal issued a cease and desist letter to Wilson last week urging him to stop the publication.

Wilson responded by suing both Grewal and Michael Feuer, city attorney for Los Angeles, arguing that any attempts to block the release of the schematics constitutes a violation of his First Amendment rights, that of Defense Distributed and its clientele.

Various media reports alluded that Defense Distributed had already uploaded blueprints and 3-D schematics on July 27 for a variety of guns, including the AR-15, an AR-10 and a VZ-58, and that they’ve already been downloaded thousands of times.

But Sharon Lauchaire, a spokesperson for the New Jersey attorney general’s office said the posted items were only “blueprints or plans,” and “not guns or guns parts that are printable directly to a 3D printer.”

“Today’s order by the New Jersey Superior Court confirms the agreement that Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed cannot post any new printable gun computer files while the case is being litigated,” Lauchaire added.

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Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel J. Munoz

Daniel Munoz covers politics and state government for NJBIZ. You can contact him at dmunoz@njbiz.com.

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