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3D-Printed Gun Files Remain Off the Internet … For Now

  • 21 Democratic AGs led by Washington AG Bob Ferguson obtained a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump Administration from enacting rule changes that would allow the release of 3D-printed gun files on the Internet by shifting oversight for 3D-printed gun exports from the State Department to the Department of Commerce, thereby enabling 3D-printed gun files to be shared person-to-person without requiring an export license.
  • In their suit, the AGs argued that allowing 3D-printed gun files to be shared on the Internet would enable anyone to manufacture unregistered and untraceable firearms and that these arms would be very difficult to detect.
  • In its order, the court noted that without injunctive relief, the proliferation of 3D-printed gun files poses a threat to national security and public interests because it will likely render “ineffective arms embargoes, export controls, and other measures used to restrict the availability of uniquely dangerous weapons sought by those seeking the commit acts of terrorism or other serious crime.”
  • As previously reported, AG Ferguson led a similar effort in 2018 that resulted in a nationwide temporary restraining order preventing a prior administrative rule from taking effect, which similarly would have resulted in publication of 3D-printed gun files on the Internet.