A U.S. judge extended the ban of online 3D-printed gun blueprints. Do you think banning the online blueprints is a violation of free speech and the right to bear arms? Scroll down to see how people around America voted.
In a time where the gun debate has Americans split, many are feeling that their rights are being violated once again. After a ban was placed for the online distribution of 3-D printed gun blueprints, a U.S. federal judge has extended that ban. This is a win for a group of mostly Democratic-led states, who stated that such a publication would endanger their residents and violate their right to regulate firearms, according to Reuters.
The ban was due to expire, then the nationwide extension was issued by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle. The ban blocks a Texas-based group from distributing files for printed plastic weapons on the Internet. Prior to this, Lasnik issued the first ban on July 31, blocking the release of the blueprints hours before they were set to hit the Internet.
The Defense Distributed, an online organization that develops digital firearms files that can be downloaded from the Internet, planned on posting the blueprints online. According to Lasnik, the owner of Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson, wanted to post the plans online so that citizens can arm themselves without having to deal with licenses, serial numbers and registrations.
According to gun control proponents, it is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a threat.
Wilson has argued against the court’s ruling that forced them to take down the blueprints. He believes it violates his free speech. The fight to keep these sorts of gun designs off the web has been ongoing for some time. Defense Distributed first began publishing 3D-printed gun designs in 2013, but was halted by the State Department, for being in violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
In 2015, the company tried to fight back by taking the case to court, but a Texas district court and a US Court of Appeals both sided with the State Department. In a surprising twist of events, the US government had settled with Defense Distributed earlier this year, that allowed them to post the designs back online.
Bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate, that aim at blocking any sales for these prints. The ban is only temporary as both parties battle it out. A lawyer for Defense Distributed said it is reviewing the judge’s ruling and considering their options.
The files include 3-D printable blueprints for components that would make it possible to make a version of the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, a weapon that has been used in U.S. mass shootings, according to Reuters. In a statement, Wilson called Lasnik’s decision an “intentional insult.” “The order is a manifest injustice and literally admits to being an abridgment of the freedom of speech,” Wilson said.
The debate has people asking how dangerous 3-D guns can really be. Michael Flynn, a 3D print expert says that a plastic gun is not a practical weapon, because it is not strong enough to withstand a barrel or the explosion from a bullet. Some argue that they are harmless and potentially more dangerous to the creator, than to any civilians. Some argue that the equipment to purchase a 3D printer is so grand, even if guns are allowed, people won’t go out and purchase the expensive equipment.
The opposite side argue that homemade plastic guns could be more dangerous to the public. The weapons won’t be able to be spotted by a metal detector or tracked through a license, which worries many on the opposing side. There is a concern that it will increase the availability of guns, to even children. Without background checks, many will be able to access them more easily.
The constitution, which was signed on 1787, never prepared itself for this driven technology world we are in now, and as a result, has left Americans divided. The argument on what violates and doesn’t violate our rights, rages on. Read the full story on Reuters here.
Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!
A U.S. Judge extends the ban of online 3D-printed gun blueprints. Do you think banning the online blueprints is a violation of free speech and the right to bear arms?
Yes – too far
No – they’re dangerous