Attorney general sues to keep 3D printable gun blueprints from N.J.
New Jersey’s attorney general has fired a round in a digital gunfight that began five years ago with a .380-caliber bullet shot from a 3-D printed gun. After successfully building the gun with code in 2013, Cody Wilson set about making it available to everyone with an internet connection. The federal government fought him. But after a settlement earlier this month, Wilson’s Defense Distributed plans to make blueprints to print all types of guns available beginning Wednesday. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal filed a lawsuit Monday to try to stop him. “These dangerous files would allow anyone – including terrorists, domestic abusers, felons, fugitives, and juveniles – to print untraceable assault weapons using a 3D printer from the comfort of their own homes,” Grewal said in announcing the suit seeking a temporary restraining order. “And because the guns would be printed without serial numbers, they would be untraceable by law enforcement, making it all the more difficult to solve crimes committed with these weapons. Once Defendants open that Pandora’s box, it can never be closed.” The suit comes a day after Wilson announced he filed suit against Grewal and Los Angeles City Attorney Michael Feuer, which cites violations that include free speech, the commerce clause and the right to bear arms. “Yesterday, @DefDist sued me for trying to keep untraceable guns out of the hands of terrorists and criminals,” Grewal tweeted Monday. “So be it. I’m not backing down on public safety.”
Wilson retweeted it, adding: “This man will pay me.” Grewal first sent the company a cease-and-desist letter Thursday. In a separate letter he informed DreamHost — the host of Defense Distributed’s website — it would be violating the provider’s Acceptable Use Policy. Grewal isn’t the only attorney general taking a stand. “I am now being sued by at least 21 state attorneys general,” Wilson tweeted Monday, inviting followers to join his fight membership.defdist.org
Grewal said in the announcement of the suit that he joined 20 other state attorneys general in a letter criticizing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions for settling the federal lawsuit against Defense Distributed and urging them to withdraw from the settlement before the company publishes the computer files later this week. “For years, and as recently as April 2018, the federal government recognized that these printable-gun computer files would be a threat to United States national security and foreign policy interests,” Grewal said. “Although the Secretary of State and Attorney General abruptly switched positions – with no good reason – the threat remains. I’m proud to lead the fight in New Jersey to stop Wilson and Defense Distributed from publishing printable-gun computer files, and I call on the federal government to join us in protecting the safety of our residents and our law enforcement officers.”