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Illinois officials join fight against 3D printed guns

Illinois Watchdog.Org

Wednesday, August 1, 2018  |  Article  |  By Cole Lauterbach

Attorney General (6) , Guns and Gun Control, FOID, Concealed Carry (46)
Officials from Illinois called on President Donald Trump’s administration Wednesday to halt the release of blueprints for making a gun with a 3D printer.

Defense Distributed’s website said the company is permitted by the U.S. Department of State to put materials in the public domain and said it is “dedicated to the advancement of American gunsmithing and the expansion of the Second Amendment.”

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin have both signed on to efforts urging the department to reverse its July decision to drop its challenge against Texas resident Cody Wilson and his company to sell blueprints for guns online.

The company had been targeted by the Obama administration for attempting to make the blueprints available. The Obama administration was able to halt dissemination by claiming that it broke international gun distribution laws, but the new administration dropped the suit, allowing for the company to sell gun schematics online starting Aug. 1.

“If we have background checks to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, we wouldn’t want to put a recipe on the internet for someone to build one of these weapons at home,” Durbin told CNN on Tuesday.

Durbin signed onto a letter written by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., urging the State Department to reconsider the settlement with Defense Distributed.

Madigan signed onto Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s letter urging the same.

“I am now being sued by at least 21 state attorneys general. If you want your Second Amendment online, THIS is the fight,” Wilson said Tuesday morning on Twitter.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit committed to defending digital liberties, has argued for the availability of the blueprints, saying the government is taking the same tact that it did in its fight against open source coding.

“The First Amendment requires that speech be allowed except in the narrowest circumstances,” EFF staff attorney Kit Walsh said. “The Supreme Court has been very clear that any speech licensing regime has to be governed by definite standards of review, judicial oversight, and prompt deadlines.”

Trump weighed in Tuesday as well, perhaps giving gun control advocates hope.