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Wash. Attorney General Files Lawsuit Blocking 3D Printed Firearms

WA Attorney General's Office

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuiton Monday in King County District Court to prevent broad access to 3D printed firearms. 

These digital firearms, or "ghost guns," were under federal regulation until June when there was a settlement between the federal government and the open-source organization that posted the digital files online. That settlement allowed the Texas group, Defense Distributed, to lawfully upload the firearm blueprints again. These files let anyone with access to a 3D printer and a computer to design a ghost gun. 

"This unprecedented move is not only disastrous for public safety, but undermines our state laws meant to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals," Ferguson said when he announced the lawsuit at a press conference on Monday.

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan attended in support of the lawsuit.

"If a person has a printed gun, that's made of the right materials, that would be undetectable. Everyone sitting on an airplane will be put at risk. Every secure building -- the same thing," she said.

Washington is joined in this lawsuit by Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia. 

The lawsuit came after Defense Distributed announced plans to post the 3D firearm guides on Wednesday, Aug. 1. 

The main assertion in the AG's lawsuit is that the administration's settlement violates the Administrative Procedure Act by reversing its stance without giving clear rationale for the change or any notice.

The lawsuit asks the court for a nationwide temporary restraining order preventing the federal government from lifting export controls allowing these downloadable gun files to be released publicly for unlimited distribution and to prevent Defense Distributed from posting the firearm blueprint files online. 

Defense Distributed filed a lawsuit in Texas on Sunday. It argues that the banning of its online firearm instructions violates its First Amendment rights.