July 29, 2021 15:11

States Argue Against Federal Rules on 3D-Printed Guns

A coalition of states claims there are a few factors the government didn’t consider before issuing new rules regulating 3D-printed guns. Among them: world peace, national security and foreign affairs, reports Courthouse News Service. In arguments Monday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Washington state Assistant Attorney General Brendan Selby called the unique dangers posed by 3D guns “novel and unprecedented.” The federal government is appealing a preliminary injunction by a federal judge blocking a plan to transfer regulation of 3D-printed guns from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. U.S. District Judge Richard Jones found the plan would allow unlimited distribution of untraceable “ghost guns.”

Jones’ order blocks the transfer while a lawsuit filed by 21 state attorneys general continues. As part of a project to reform weapons export regulations, the State Department transferred export control for many kinds of firearms to the Department of Commerce in 2018. The states say the government illegally didn’t notify the public before issuing the new regulations. Arguing for the government, attorney Daniel Aguilar claimed that the new rules are actually more restrictive over designs shared online because they impose new restrictions that remove 3D printing files from the public domain and require a license to post them online. Despite their opposing positions on the regulations, attorneys for both sides agree on the danger presented by undetectable and untraceable 3D-printed weapons. “This kind of information could go to people in Cuba or Iran or North Korea,” Aguilar said. Selby underscored the domestic danger. “They can be used for political assassinations and hijackings, they can be brought through areas with metal detectors such as airports, stadiums and even courthouses. This is a case over whether the government should be permitted to open Pandora’s box.”

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