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Designer of 3D printed gun will distribute gun plans despite court order

Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed company, holds a 3D printed gun, called the "Liberator," in his factory Aug. 1 in Austin, Texas. Wilson said he has started to sell the blueprints despite a court order banning him from uploading them to the internet. (Kelly West/AFP/Getty Images)

The designer of a 3D printed gun said he will distribute his designs despite a court order that sought to bar him from doing so.

What are the details?

Cody Wilson plans to sell the designs for 3D printed guns through his company Defense Distributed, based in Austin, Texas. While it's illegal to distribute plans for an entire 3D printed gun online, Wilson circumvented this by selling parts instead of a complete gun.

On July 10, the U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with the Second Amendment Foundation on behalf of Defense Distributed, under which plans for the guns could be distributed freely online.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have issued injunctions against that settlement.

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik extended a ruling that banned Defense Distributed from uploading plans for the guns.

What did Wilson say?

Wilson announced at a news conference on Tuesday that he had figured out a work-around, and would be selling flash drives with the plans on them instead of making them available for download. He will also limit sales to the United States instead of making the plans available internationally.

“Anyone who wants to get these files is going to get them,” Wilson said at the conference. “They can name their own price.”

Wilson added that he didn't expected to make any money off the product.

“For many years, I chose not to sell these files," he said. "I was an open source advocate.”

But Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson thinks that Wilson's work-around is still in violation of the court order.

“Because of our lawsuit, it is once again illegal to post downloadable gun files to the internet. I trust the federal government will hold Cody Wilson, a self-described ‘crypto-anarchist,’ accountable to that law,” Ferguson told The Associated Press. “If they don’t, President Trump will be responsible for anyone who is hurt or killed as a result of these weapons.”

Trump is no fan of Wilson's. In July, shortly after the settlement, Trump tweeted that does not think that 3D guns should be sold to the public.


Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that the Department of Justice will "vigorously enforce" existing laws against "plastic firearms that are undetectable."

One last thing…
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