A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday that blocks an organization called Defense Distributed from publishing blueprints for 3D printing guns online. The judge sided with Washington and other states, which sought the restraining order.
Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit Tuesday jointly with the AGs of Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. The suit claims the federal government broke the law earlier this year when it settled a 2015 dispute with Defense Distributed and the Bellevue, Wash., gun rights group the Second Amendment Foundation.
Ferguson’s office announced the ruling by Judge Robert Lasnik on Twitter Tuesday afternoon:
Granted: Judge issues temporary restraining order blocking federal government from allowing distribution of downloadable 3D printed ghost guns
— WA Attorney General (@AGOWA) July 31, 2018
In the 2015 lawsuit, the State Department mandated that 3D-printed gun instruction manuals be removed from the internet. The Trump administration reversed course, agreeing to allow Defense Distributed to publish the tutorials online. Defense Distributed planned to release the instructions August 1, which is why Ferguson sought immediate relief from the court.
In the lawsuit, the states claim the federal government violated administrative procedures by waiving restrictions on Defense Distributed’s downloadable gun files. The complaint also alleges that the Trump administration is violating states’ Tenth Amendment rights to regulate firearms.
With the lawsuit pending, President Donald Trump tweeted the following message about 3D-printed guns:
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
Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence called the restraining order “a strong step and a clear victory for the entire gun safety movement” in a statement.