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U.S. release of 3D-printed gun software blocked

08/01/2018
Graphic News

August 1, 2018 -- A U.S. court has blocked the release of downloadable blueprints to make 3-D printed guns that can go undetected by security screening.

The company behind the plans, Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, reached a settlement with the federal government in June allowing it to make the plans for the guns available for download on August 1.

The restraining order from U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle puts that plan on hold for now. “There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made,” he said.

Eight Democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit on July 30 seeking to block the settlement. They also sought the restraining order, arguing that 3D guns would be a safety risk.

The company’s website had said downloads would begin August 1, but blueprints for at least one gun, a plastic pistol called the Liberator, have been posted on the site since July 27. A lawyer for the company said he didn't know how many blueprints had been downloaded since then.

Outrage over the administration decision is putting gun control back into the election-year political debate, but with a high-tech twist.


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