Nine states sue to prevent 3D-printed gun plans going online

States sue to block sale of 3D-printed weapon designs online

Democrats launched an 11th-hour bid Tuesday to stall a Trump administration settlement allowing a company to share blueprints for 3D-printed guns online, issuing dire warnings that the president will have "blood" on his hands if he doesn't intervene.

Trump was referring to the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby that has become an integral part of the Republican political machine.

Trump wrote on Twitter the idea "doesn't seem to make much sense!". OR is joining a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State to prevent a Texas company from posting designs for guns that can be made on 3-D printers.

A federal judge issued a ruling blocking a deal made by the federal government to allow the publishing of blueprints for 3D printable guns. Eight states have filed suit to block the decision, contending that the plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.

Kenneth Schwartz reported this story for VOA News.

The firearms can be printed without the serial numbers required of licensed manufacturers, leaving the guns invisible to background checks and untraceable by law enforcement, earning them the name ghost guns.

Starting August 1, it will be legal to download the 3D-gun blueprints. "We have not seen anything yet that shows these lower quality ones that are $500 to $15,000 - we're not seeing anything right now that that grade can be used for this right here and actually work", said Martin Lopez, a former Navy intelligence and security specialist.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik issued the order Tuesday afternoon. Real guns have metal barrels while the 3D guns have plastic ones. 3D printers turn digital files into three-dimensional objects by successively laying down thin layers of plastic until the object is created.

That prospect has startled gun control advocates, who say it could worsen the epidemic of gun violence in the US and make it easier for terrorists to gain access to a raft of deadly firearms. "These downloadable guns are unregistered and very hard to detect, even with metal detectors, and will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history".

The measure is meant to ensure that even guns primarily made of plastic can be discovered by metal detectors.

Senator Mike Lee, Republican from Utah, blocked a Democratic request to bring the bill straight to the Senate floor, citing First Amendment free speech concerns.

People can use the blueprints to manufacture a plastic gun using a 3D printer. They usually hold a bullet or two and then must be manually loaded. They add that 3-D printing technology can be very costly.

"This is an imminent threat to public safety and violates the law". The suit argues the Tenth Amendment reserves to the states the right to regulate firearms, and that this settlement jeopardizes Washington and other states' restrictions.

The government's decision on 3D-printed gun plans comes after a three-year legal battle between the U.S. State Department and Cody Wilson, the founder of the Texas-based nonprofit Defense Distributed.

In the meantime, the company agreed to block sales to users with IP addresses from Los Angeles, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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