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Judge Issues Temporary Restraining Order Against 3-D Printer Guns

Matthew Daly
Sen. Edward Markey and Sen. Richard Blumenthal show a photo of a plastic gun on Tuesday on Capitol Hill. Democrats are calling on the administration to reverse its decision to allow a Texas company to make blueprints for a 3D-printed gun available online.

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order on Tuesday that prevents the publication of online 3D blueprints for plastic yet deadly guns.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik said the untraceable weapons could end up in the wrong hands, The Associated Press reported.

Lasnik's ruling came after eight states, including Connecticut, and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit to block a government settlement with Cody Wilson and his Texas-based company, Defense Distributed, which made it legal for the company to make the do-it-yourself computer plans readily available to any paying customer.

The U.S. State Department agreed to a settlement in June after a five-year legal battle.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen says it’s unconscionable that the Trump administration would enter into a settlement that would allow the company to offer free downloadable plans to print and mail working guns that do not possess serial numbers and cannot be picked up by metal detectors.

“The people who would want these guns are by definition the people who should not have them and can’t acquire them in conventional means. And so this abrupt reversal by the Trump administration, this emboldens terrorists and is going to make America less safe.”

Gun safety advocates hailed Tuesday's decision as a victory, saying it will protect innocent lives.

CNN reported Wilson said he had suspended downloads of the 3D-printer gun "until he reviews the order."

"We're disappointed," Wilson told The New York Times. "The law is clear. These plaintiffs just don't have standing to challenge the settlement. You can't unclose a federally closed matter. And I consider the matter to be closed."

The judge has scheduled a hearing on Aug. 10.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.