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Downloadable Firearms Now Legal

PC Magazine reports on a settlement reached between the Trump Administration’s US Department of Justice and ‘gun rights activist’ Cody Wilson, of Defense Distributed fame.

Of course, Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed are hard to forget.  In 2013, “Wilson began uploading 3D printable CAD files to create a working plastic gun, called the “Liberator.”  This drew the attention of federal authorities; the US State Department demanded Wilson pull down the files, claiming he was violating an export rule on distributing secret military hardware.  In response, Wilson eventually took the US government to court; he’s been arguing that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech.”

And now, due to the settlement, Wilson has gotten his wish.  Wilson is ecstatic: “I consider it a truly grand thing.  It will be an irrevocable part of political life that guns are downloadable and we helped to do that.”  Wilson plans to relaunch his website, Defcad, where he will resume uploading blueprints for firearms.

Apparently, the Trump Administration’s Justice Department approached Wilson with the settlement.  Under the terms of their new agreement, “the US government has agreed to change its export rules on military firearms, allowing Wilson [and others like him] to publish 3D firearm files without fear of legal penalty.”

The Second Amendment Foundation, who supported Wilson’s initial lawsuit, added: “significantly, the government expressly acknowledges non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.”

It is important to note the AR-15, a weapon often used by the military in combat situations, has specifically been used by mass shooters on multiple occasions.  This settlement has just made it easier for untraceable firearms to be 3D printed, by anyone.

Indeed, Wilson’s non-profit, Defense Distributed, “is seeking to become a digital warehouse for open source gun designs…[It is currently] offering a 3D printer for $1,675, capable of fabricating a metallic lower receiver to [that very same] AR-15 rifle.”

An Update to this story: A few days before Defense Distributed was to legally upload these gun CAD files, they illegally uploaded them early.  One thousand people downloaded the AR-15 CAD files parts specifically before the files were once more taken down.

Now, a judge has temporarily stalled the uploading of these files.  House Democrats have put forward a bill blocking their upload as well.  Even President Trump is tweeting about this issue, saying: “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”

This story is still developing…

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