Can You Print A Gun At Your Local Library? It's Not Likely

Nine states are suing the Trump administration to stop 3D-printed guns

President Donald Trump on Tuesday raised concerns about the sale of plastic guns made with 3-D printers, a day after several US states sued his administration to block the imminent online publication of designs to make the weapons.

Texas-based company Defence Distributed was previously ordered by the State Department to cease the publication of the blueprints in 2013, but had reached a settlement in June allowing them to make the plans available for download as of August 1.

Joining Washington in the lawsuit filed Monday were attorneys general in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

Defense Distributed filed its own suit in Texas on Sunday, asserting that it's the victim of an "ideologically-fueled program of intimidation and harassment" that violates its First Amendment rights.

Attorney General Maura Healey is suing the Trump administration for allowing a website to post plans that let people print a gun with a 3D printer.

US District Judge Robert Lasnik issued the order on Tuesday afternoon.

The public safety controversy erupted after Defense Distributed recently settled with the federal government following a lengthy litigation, allowing it to continue its "at home" gun-printing business.

Grewal responded Monday with news that New Jersey would file a lawsuit against Defense Distributed.

Gun-safety advocates see 3D-printed weapons as the latest iteration of so-called "ghost guns", which are unregistered and untraceable. "Under federal law it would be illegal to build a gun that's undetectable", he said.

But Democrats called the law weak and said gun users can get around it by using weapons with a removable metal block that the gun doesn't need in order to function.

The controversy began in 2013 when self-styled crypto-anarchist Cody Wilson showed off the world's first 3D-printed gun.

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State officials say they've stopped a company that makes 3D downloadable guns from making them internet-accessible in Pennsylvania and from uploading new files.

"Even machinists with average skills are able to produce 3D printed firearms", said Mitch Free, chairman & CEO of the 3D printing company ZYCI CNC Machining.

Eight Democratic attorneys general had filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the settlement.

Defense Distributed celebrated the decision with a post on its website welcoming "the age of the downloadable gun".

"These downloadable guns are unregistered and very hard to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health, or criminal history", said Bob Ferguson, the state's attorney general, in his statement about the lawsuit, which is being jointly filed by eight other states. By Sunday 1,000 people had downloaded 3D printer plans for the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

The plastic weapons are untraceable, often undetectable and deadly.

"I have a question for the Trump Administration: Why are you allowing unsafe criminals easy access to weapons?"

Later Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., criticized Trump for waiting to look into it until the day before the blueprints were scheduled to go online.

Congressional Democrats are urging the administration to reverse its decision to allow Austin-based Defense Distributed to publish downloadable blueprints for the 3D guns.

Trump was referring to the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby that has become an integral part of the Republican political machine. Wilson sued in 2015, claiming the order infringed on his constitutional rights.

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