Cody Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, have been in the news quite often in the last few months, due to his history when it comes to working on firearms that can be built entirely with 3D printers, and then distributing the files. Even after winning the right to post the blueprints from the federal government, leftists are still trying to undermine his First Amendment, and even Second Amendment rights.
This time, it was a federal judge in a U.S. District Court in the state of Washington who blocked the rights of Defense Distributed and its owner to post firearm blueprints online. However, the files are only blocked until the lawsuit has been concluded, as the judge said that there was a “legitimate fear” that ill could come of not blocking them. Instead, the judge decided to renew the assault on a man’s First and Second Amendment rights, started by the Obama administration, shortly after the battle seemed won.
After Wilson and DD settled with the Department of State in July, a number of states and their various attorneys general threatened to try again to ban the blueprints for 3D-printed firearms from the internet.
Judge Robert S. Lasnik, who heard the case brought forward by a ‘coalition’ of states who claim that the blueprints represent a threat to public safety, issued an injunction, which prevents Wilson from being able to post the files until the case comes to a conclusion, at very least.
The case concerns digital blueprints posted online several years before, back in 2013, for a pistol called the ‘Liberator’ which can be assembled from mostly 3D-printed parts.
Indeed, the only metal part in the pistol is the firing pin, which is a nail.
The modern, 3D-printed ‘Liberator’ is named after the FP-45 Liberator, a cheaply-made pistol the United States gave to various resistance groups in Europe during World War II. It was not intended as a combat pistol, but rather as a weapon to kill an Axis soldier at close range and strip him of his weaponry.
The injunction issued by Judge Robert Lasnik is not a ruling on the entirety of the case, though in the short-term it does have the same impact as a ruling in favor of the attorneys general.
Essentially, an injunction means that the case may have merit, and that while it is being reviewed, no further action may be taken.
In this case, it means that even though Cody Wilson won a settlement U.S. Department of State, after fighting in various courts for the better part of four years, and even though that settlement included the right to post his findings free from harassment.
In granting the injunction order, Judge Lasnik claimed that states had a ‘clear and reasonable fear’ that the information in the blueprints would proliferate ‘undetectable’ firearms being put in the hands of people who would otherwise be barred from legal ownership of firearms.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated earlier this month that undetectable firearms made entirely out of plastic are already (and still) illegal under federal law in the United States.
He also said that the Department of Justice would vigorously prosecute anyone who attempted to make undetectable firearms.
Still, some security ‘experts’ have stated that they are concerned that firearms, like Cody Wilson’s Liberator, could get through metal detectors.
On the other hand, those with knowledge of firearms find this claim somewhat dubious.
Firstly, if someone were to produce a pistol entirely via 3D printer, and make a plastic ‘firing pin’ instead of using the nail the liberator uses, there is legitimate concern over whether or not it would actually activate the primer on the bullet.
Even if someone figured out how to make a working firing pin entirely out of plastic, however, and assuming that firing pin would last more than a few uses, there’s still the issue with ammunition, which generally consists of a metal bullet and a metal casing.
It seems like the leftist attorneys who filed these suits are more interested in preventing people from being able to make their own firearms using 3D printers and milling machines than they are in ‘security.’
Indeed, many of them, and other leftists, have expressed worry at the idea that people will be able to assemble their own firearms without a background check, and that since these firearms won’t have serial numbers, they will be untraceable.
This lawsuit doesn’t seem to be about safety, but rather about government control.
Most interesting of all, people have been able to make their own firearms, entirely legally (so long as they weren’t fully automatic, ‘short-barreled rifles,’ or ‘destructive devices’ under the law) for decades.
These firearms didn’t have to be registered or serialized, unless someone wanted to sell them.
The injunction comes as part of a lawsuit that has the potential to reach the United States Supreme Court, and which addresses both First and Second Amendment issues. It will be interesting to see what Lasnik decides, but given that he is a Bill Clinton appointee, it is not likely to be in favor of the rights of the people.