Judge Blocks Online Posting of 3D Gun Data

A district court judge in Washington state granted an injunction that bars the posting of 3D gun blueprints online

The latest judicial decision in a case involving blueprints to make plastic guns using a 3D printer has added another layer to an already intricate legal matter.

On Aug. 27, Judge Robert Lasnik, a district court judge in the Western District of Washington in Seattle, granted a preliminary injunction in a multiparty lawsuit spearheaded by the Washington attorney general. The case sought to prevent Defense Distributed, a private Texas-based company, from posting online computer aided design files, or CAD files, that would allow anyone with a commercially available 3D printer to print guns and gun parts. Eighteen other states including Colorado joined the lawsuit.

Although the owner of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson, has notably argued his First Amendment rights allow him to post these design files online, the Washington State lawsuit does not specifically address that constitutional conundrum. Rather, the suit pertains to a question of whether a settlement reached by the Justice Department and Defense Distributed in a previous case out of Texas violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 3, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.