According to CNN, over 1,000 people have downloaded plans for 3-D-printed AR-15-style guns as of Sunday.
The office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Josh Shapiro, reported that the plans to 3-D print AR-15-style rifles had already been downloaded by more than 1,000 people.
Shapiro, who has been trying to prevent the printing of 3-D weapons in his state, requested a restraining order to block Pennsylvania IP addresses from accessing a website that allows people download such plans on Sunday. The gun-rights group who owns the website, Defense Distributed, agreed to comply, but only for a few days.
Defense Distributed’s attorney, Josh Blackman, claims that this is a matter of free speech, rather than guns, adding, “One state cannot censor the speech of a citizen in another state.”
According to Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Pennsylvania is not alone, adding that eight other states and Washington D.C. are suing to block a court action that would also residents to download plans to make 3-D printed guns.
The co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Avery Gardiner, noted that 3-D printed guns, which have been nicknamed “Ghost Guns” because they are untraceable and lack any serial numbers, will make it easier for terrorists or people with criminal records to acquire firearms. While 3-D printers are generally expensive, advocates are still concerned that these guns will still fall into the wrong hands.
“The threat of untraceable guns in the hands of unknown owners is too daunting to stand by and not take action,” said Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. “Attorney General Shapiro and I will fight to protect Pennsylvania families and children.”
“The federal government,” Wolf continued, “has abdicated its responsibility to keep our citizens safe, but we will not be deterred from working to ensure Pennsylvania safety laws are followed and our residents are protected from these dangerous weapons getting in the wrong hands.”
This budding controversy comes from a settlement reached in June between Defense Distributed and government, allowing the gun-rights group to post downloadable plans to make 3-D-printed guns on their website starting this Wednesday, but the group appears to have posted them over the weekend.
By Monday, the website “showed more than 12,000 downloads of seven different models of guns,” including designs for varying types of handguns and rifles.
According to the settlement, the group can “publish plans, files and 3-D drawings in any form and exempts them from the export restrictions.” In addition, the government agreed to pay up to $40,000 in legal fees for Defense Distributed’s founder, Cody Wilson.