A few weeks ago Crypto Insider reported that Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) had reached a settlement with the US Department of Justice in SAF’s lawsuit on behalf of Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed over free speech issues related to 3D files and other information that may be used to manufacture lawful firearms.
Under the terms of the settlement, the government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against Defense Distributed, allowing them to freely publish the 3D files and other information at issue.
Read our previous story for a short outline of the Defense Distributed saga.
We emphasized that both conservatives and liberals will hate this development, and only hardcore libertarians will like it. Even moderate libertarians can be expected to be opposed to sharing the detailed design specs of guns that anyone can fab with affordable 3D printers. Therefore, it's not surprising that the plans of Defense Distributed have been blocked by a federal judge as the DEFCAD website was going live. Wilson tweeted:
"By order of a federal judge in the Western District of Washington, http://DEFCAD.com is going dark."
The judge, Robert Lasnik, didn't order the plans to be taken down, but temporarily blocked a settlement, CNN reports.
"[If] anyone posts this information online, they are in violation of federal law and can suffer very serious consequences, said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, as reported by CNN. "So, it makes it unlawful to post that information and make it available to the public."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo directed state police to issue a notice reminding New Yorkers that manufacturing firearms defined as assault weapons is illegal in New York, as reported by CNN:
"As the nation rises up and calls for action against gun violence, it is absurd and frightening that the federal government wants to make accessing an automatic weapon as easy as hitting print," he said. "New York is proud to have the strongest gun safety laws in the nation, and we won't let this federal government take us backwards."
Not even the National Rifle Association (NRA) is taking side against Defense Distributed. Chris Cox, the NRA's executive director for legislative action, said:
"Regardless of what a person may be able to publish on the internet, undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years. Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA's support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm."
"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public," tweeted US President Donald Trump. "Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!"
The DEFCAD website now carries this announcement:
"This site, after legally committing its files to the public domain through a license from the U.S. Department of State, has been ordered shut down by a federal judge in the Western District of Washington. Join us to uncensor the site."
It's easy to predict that, if Defense Distributed is prevented from legally sharing 3D printable gun design files, the files will be shared anyway via BitTorrent or the dark web.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.
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Crypto Insider Editor Giulio Prisco is a writer specialized in science, technology and business. He is persuaded that crypto has the potential to bring disruptive positive changes to the internet and society at large.