Washington, D.C., August 27, 2018 – Nearly two months after the U.S. State Department settled a lawsuit allowing blueprints of 3D-printed guns to be posted online, a federal court in Washington state today issued a preliminary injunction blocking the publication. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which filed the first legal action to stop dangerous 3D-printed guns and has been a leading voice in the fight to block them, celebrated the ruling and vowed to continue its efforts on the issue.
“Today’s decision is an unqualified success for the American public and, indeed, the global community,” stated Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign. “3D-printed guns represent a supreme threat to our safety and security, and we are grateful that Judge Lasnik recognized it as such. But we also recognize that the menace does not end here. Already, there have been a wave of dangerous actors seeking to illegally post the blueprints online. We are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this threat from continuing further.”
In support of the lawsuit filed by a bipartisan group of state Attorneys General from throughout the nation, the Brady Campaign filed an amicus brief arguing that the Second Amendment does not grant Defense Distributed the right to publish the blueprints, nor does it protect the right to create or own 3D-printed guns. Brady also sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, calling on him instruct his department to respond to the organization's FOIA request from July 16 to share documents related to the sudden reversal in the Defense Distributed lawsuit. Should that request not be honored, the letter warned that a lawsuit will be forthcoming.
“We applaud this decision, but we also recognize that Sec. Pompeo and the State Department still holds the power to end this threat once and for all,” added Brady Campaign co-president Kris Brown. “The State Department is responsible for oversight of firearm exports, meaning that they are able to step in and protect Americans from foreign terrorists and other dangerous people from obtaining the ability to print their own untraceable assault rifles. We renew our call to Sec. Pompeo to take action and put a stop to the publication of 3D-printed gun blueprints, once and for all.”
As part of the decision, Judge Robert S. Lasnik wrote:
“Defendants’ argument is so myopic and restrictive as to be unreasonable. Whatever defendants’ statutory authority the fact is that the internet is both domestic and international. The federal defendants’ determination that the 3D files at issue are subject to regulation under ITAR and could not, therefore, be published on the internet reduced risks of the proliferation of untraceable and undetectable weapons, assassinations, aviation and other security breaches, and violations of gun control laws both abroad and at home. Thus, the alleged failures to provide notice and make a reasonable evaluation of the risks and benefits of the proposed action not only impact national security but have domestic repercussions as well.”
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.