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Attorney General Josh Stein Joins Lawsuit to Prevent Unrestricted Access to 3D Firearms

Release date: 8/1/2018

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today took legal action to prevent unrestricted access to untraceable, undetectable 3D guns by announcing that he would be joining a multistate lawsuit that seeks to block a Trump administration action allowing the public release of 3D firearm blueprints. The blueprints would allow individuals, regardless of age, criminal history, and mental health to create plastic guns using 3D printers. While plastic, these guns still have the ability to do major harm, and they would be able to avoid detection from metal detectors, evade tracking without serial numbers, and dodge background check and firearm eligibility laws. “Putting firearm blueprints up on the web for anyone to download and use is a threat to public safety,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “People with criminal intentions can use these undetectable, untraceable guns to harm others while also being able to sidestep North Carolina and federal firearm laws. I will fight to keep these plans from becoming publicly available online.”

In 2015, Defense Distributed, an online company, was forced by the U.S. State Department to remove instruction manuals on printing 3D firearms from the internet. However, as part of a settlement on the case with Defense Distributed in June, the Trump administration allowed the firearm blueprints files to be available once again for public, unlimited distribution. The action would allow anyone with a 3D printer the ability to use the downloadable instructions to print his or her own firearms. Defense Distributed had planned to make the blueprints available online on Aug. 1.

Yesterday, in response to the multistate lawsuit, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order preventing the publication of the blueprints on the internet. The lawsuit argues that the settlement violates the Administrative Procedure Act and the Tenth Amendment.

Attorney General Stein will join the lawsuit with the Attorneys General of Washington, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia.A copy of the temporary restraining order entered by the court can be found here.A copy of the complaint can be found here.

Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484


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