Panicked, a trio of gun-control interests (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Everytown for Gun Safety, and GiffordsPAC) tried to muscle in on the lawsuit at the very last minute and prevent the settlement from going into effect. Friday, after a hearing before Judge Robert Pitman in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, their attempt failed, the settlement went into effect, the lawsuit is over, and the files are being freely distributed.
Then, making one of Defense Distributed's core legal points in this whole lawsuit for them, Grewal complained that "Posting this material online is no different than driving to New Jersey and handing out hard-copy files on any street corner." Indeed, as Wilson has long argued, the information he wanted to distribute should be protected under the First Amendment, just as if he were printing it, as indeed books or instructional pamphlets about gunsmithing already are.
Josh Blackman, a lawyer on Defense Distributed's side who helped argue this case before Judge Pitman on Friday, says that the attempted intervenors very last minute attempt to throw a spanner in the works required the Defense Distributed team to write over 60 pages of briefs in less than 24 hours. The motions from the three gun control groups were filed very late in the evening on Wednesday, seeking a temporary restraining order on the government to stop them from settling with Defense Distributed.
A hearing was swiftly set up in Austin, Texas, Friday and "after an hour the judge announced from the bench that he'd denied the motion to intervene." Thus, the settlement went into effect "and the case is closed." The gun control groups did not bother trying to appeal the judge's decision and "now there is nothing left to intervene in. They were intervening to prevent the settlement" but the settlement has now gone into effect.
Gurbir S. Grewal, the attorney general of New Jersey, sent a threatening letter to Defense Distributed last week that claimed the company's "plans to allow anyone with a 3D printer to download a code and create a fully operational gun directly threatens the public safety of New Jersey's residents....Posting this material online is no different than driving to New Jersey and handing out hard-copy files on any street corner."
Grewal ordered the company "to cease and desist from publishing printable-gun computer files for use by New Jersey residents....Should you fail to comply with this letter, my Office will initiate legal action barring you from publishing these files before August 1, 2018."
Defense Distributed's legal right to post its information was won by the company via settlement this month after a long legal battle with the federal government. Before that settlement, the feds essentially wanted to treat the act of hosting or distributing such files as illegal arms exporting.
Defense Distributed informed Grewal on Friday that "all actions contemplated by Defense Distributed are fully protected by the First Amendment, and [Grewal's] attempts to prevent such actions constitute an unconstitutional prior restraint and otherwise violate the United States Constitution and the New Jersey Constitution."
UPDATE: Within an hour before filing the above lawsuit, Defense Distributed was informed by the state of Pennsylvania that it was seeking a temporary restraining order in federal court to stop it from distributing weapon-making files in that state. During an emergency telephone hearing before U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond (which lawyer Josh Blackman had to participate in from a United Airlines lounge at LaGuardia Airport), Defense Distributed agreed to, at least through next week, voluntarily block Pennsylvania I.P. addresses until the legal issue can be resolved. As Wilson told Philly.com, despite that, he will "fight any effort by state officials to seek a permanent ban. 'Americans have the right to this data, Wilson said. 'We have the right to share it. Pennsylvania has no right to come in and tell us what we can and can't share on the internet.'"
Celebrities are freaking out and begging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to block a State Department settlement that will allow Cody Wilson’s Defense Distributed to upload 3-D printed gun instructions online.
The outcry comes just days before the settlement with Defense Distributed takes effect and follows weeks of Democrat efforts to derail 3-D printed guns via Congressional action. These efforts include Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) misleading claim that 3-D printed guns open the door to a “fully semiautomatic weapon.”
bignflnut wrote:A flurry of activity...[url=http://reason.com/blog/2018/07/28/gun-control-groups-fail-to-scuttle-settl]
Samuel Adams wrote:If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
High Power wrote:There's so much information about this in the Internet that it's hard to determine where to start. I would like to start by building a gun in honor of Barbara Eden?
Receivers like those in the Defense Distributed case are freely available right now on the open market—and unregulated—because they are “80 percent parts.” That is to say they are about 80 percent of a working firearm, requiring a person to have only a drill press or hand tools, and the requisite DIY skills, to finish the remaining 20 percent.
Building a gun this way from parts already on the market is much easier and cheaper than the new and controversial 3D printing method. I once did it in my own kitchen, and the result is a much more reliable, durable firearm than you'd get from 3D-printed parts. Frankly, 3D printing gun parts is the most complicated way for a criminal to get his hands on a firearm, after stealing a gun from a legal gun owner, buying a gun on the black market, and finishing an 80 percent receiver.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon that bars Cody Wilson from sharing 3-D gun print files online August 1.
The order provides time for Democrats to continue pressing President Trump to intervene and prohibit future publication of files all together.
Trump already made it clear he is uneasy with “3-D plastic guns being sold to the public” and suggested someone the NRA shares his uneasiness:I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
A few hours after U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, a Clinton appointee, muzzled Defense Distributed with a court order Tuesday evening, the CodeIsFreeSpeech.com mirror site appeared. It's a project of the Calguns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and other civil rights groups, and includes freely downloadable computer-aided design (CAD) files for the AR-15, AR-10, Ruger 10-22, Beretta 92FS, and other firearms.
Soon after the court order, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson announced that his site, DEFCAD.com, was "going dark." The files his company was hosting there have been replaced with a notice saying they have been removed as a result of Lasnik's ruling.
But the court order does not apply to the advocacy groups behind CodeIsFreeSpeech. They were not named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the Washington state attorney general. Therefore, they don't need to comply with the ruling.
"We, and many others around the country, completely support Cody and Defense Distributed," Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, tells Reason. "Some governments and elected officials might want to censor this speech because they prefer a police state. We don't. I don't really give a damn what they'd prefer."
Look for Defense Distributed's attorneys to argue that this is yet another reason the temporary restraining order should be dissolved. A hearing is scheduled for August 10 in Seattle.
Both Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Public Libraries have policies banning the printing of weapons.
"Our patron conduct requires that you cannot bring a gun into the library," said Robin Wood, Assistant Director of Public Services for Cleveland Public Libraries. "So obviously we could not let you print a weapon in the library either."
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also confirmed the state would not be joining others suing to block the online posting of the plans.
"Neither Ohio nor federal law prohibits law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights to make their own guns for personal use," read a statement from the AG's Office.
Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action, released the following statement on Tuesday:
“Many anti-gun politicians and members of the media have wrongly claimed that 3-D printing technology will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms.”
“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.
Why does this keep happening? Why do media outlets and politicians continue to spread false information and then — when called on it — remain proudly ignorant and instead condemn so-called “gunsplaining”?
My own view is simple. For critics of gun rights, details don’t matter because the gun debate is less a policy debate than it is a cultural conflict. The Trump administration’s settlement isn’t so much an outrage on its own terms as it is a vehicle for a different argument — a broader argument against gun culture. And in that broader attack on gun culture, other essential American liberties must be sacrificed, including freedom of expression. Prior restraints on free speech are a small price to pay when gun control is at stake.
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