Cody Wilson, the inventor of 3D-printed guns, posing with 'The Liberator'Image: picture-alliance/AP/Austin-American-Statesman/J. Janner
US judge blocks 3D-printed guns release
August 1, 2018
A US court halted release of blueprints for 3D-printed guns just hours before a company was scheduled to make them available online. The plans for undetectable plastic arms could cause "irreparable harm," the judge said.
The release of blueprints for 3D-printed weapons was temporarily blocked on Tuesday, with Seattle-based judge Robert Lasnik ruling against their publication by company Defense Distributed. The firm's designs would allow owners of 3D-printers to create their own plastic firearms.
"There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made," Judge Lasnik said ahead of the plans' scheduled nationwide release on Wednesday.
Trump: the issue 'doesn't seem to make much sense!'
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump himself commented on the issue on Twitter.
"I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!" Trump said, without specifying which part of the argument he was referring to.
Some experts have sought to downplay the fears of 3D-printed weapons, emphasizing that 3D printers are expensive and weapons produced in them quickly disintegrate if used. Others point out that plastic weapons could act as "ghost" guns which would be virtually impossible to detect and trace.
Defense Distributed founder, Cody Wilson, first published downloadable designs for a 3D-printed firearm in 2013. The plans were downloaded about 100,000 times until the US State Department blocked them, claiming the distribution beyond US borders violated laws on weapons exports.