Friday, 24 January 2020
WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorneys general in 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit Thursday challenging a federal regulation that could allow blueprints for making guns on 3D printers to be posted on the internet.
New York Attorney General Tish James, who helped lead the coalition of state attorneys general, argued that posting the blueprints would allow anyone to go online and use the downloadable files to create unregistered and untraceable assault-style weapons that could be difficult to detect.
The lawsuit, joined by California, Washington and 17 other states, was filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle. It is likely to reignite a fierce debate over the use of 3D-printed firearms and is the latest in a series of attempts by state law enforcement officials to block the Trump administration from easing the accessibility of the blueprints.
Proponents have argued there is a constitutional right to publish the material, but critics counter that making the blueprints readily accessible online could lead to an increase in gun violence and put weapons in the hands of criminals who are legally prohibited from owning them.
Washington state's attorney general Bob Ferguson said a previous multi-state lawsuit led a federal judge last year to strike down the administration’s earlier attempt to allow the files to be distributed.
“Why is the Trump administration working so hard to allow domestic abusers, felons and terrorists access to untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns?” Ferguson said in a statement.
For years, law enforcement officials have been trying to draw attention to the dangers posed by the so-called ghost guns, which contain no registration numbers that could be used to trace them.
A federal judge in November blocked an earlier attempt by the...