After an extensive battle in the U.S. courts, Americans will be able to legally download blueprints for 3D printed guns.
This ruling follows years of legal battles between the U.S. government and Defense Distributed. The legal battle began after Cody Wilson, a member of Defense Distributed, posted the printing blueprint for his gun, the “Liberator.”
In 2015, Wilson told Foxnews.com that he believed that the crackdown on posting 3D blueprints was “a direct action on behalf of the Obama administration to control public speech about guns on the Internet.”
When Wilson first printed the gun, many feared that the weapon could be carried without detection by security. Wilson's gun was made entirely by ABS plastic, a metal firing pin, and one additional strip of metal to comply with the Undetectable Firearms Act.
The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) joined Defense Distributed in the lawsuit. In a statement, SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb said:
Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby. For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.
Under this settlement, the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose prior restraint on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology."
As part of the settlement, Defense Distributed and SAF received payments for their legal fees, some registration expenses, and, of course, the ability to publish their blueprints.
American's ability to legally distribute blueprints to print guns will go into effect August 1.