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Cuomo, Malloy Praise Order Halting Release Of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

August 01, 2018 - 10:02 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) -- There's relief in Albany, Trenton and Hartford over a ruling halting the release of downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed guns.

A federal judge in Seattle issued the temporary restraining order Tuesday after eight states filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish the plans, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the ruling "a critical and lifesaving victory" while Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said "thankfully reason prevailed in the courts."

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said he will keep fighting against a lawsuit filed against him and a Los Angeles attorney over the issue.

“It is the height of insanity to allow these codes to be put out there where anyone, without restriction, can print these firearms,” Grewal said.

People can use the blueprints to manufacture a plastic gun using a 3D printer. But gun industry experts have expressed doubt that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns are very expensive, the guns themselves tend to disintegrate quickly and traditional firearms are easy to come by.

The 3D plastic weapons would be untraceable and require no background check, CBS News correspondent Tony Dokoupil reported.

Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, first published downloadable designs for a 3D-printed firearm in 2013. It was downloaded about 100,000 times until the State Department ordered him to cease, contending it violated federal export laws since some of the blueprints were downloaded by people outside the United States.

The State Department reversed course in late June, agreeing to allow Wilson to resume posting the blueprints. The files were published on Friday before Tuesday's ruling, and it's been downloaded 2,500 times, CBS News White House correspondent Steven Portnoy said.

The company filed its own suit in Texas on Sunday, asserting that it's the victim of an "ideologically-fueled program of intimidation and harassment" that violates the company's First Amendment rights.

The company's attorney, Josh Blackman, argues that this is really a free speech issue.

"Even if you like the idea of keeping plastic guns out of people's hands they can't stop it at the root by prohibiting the spread of information," Blackman said. "This case isn't about printing the guns, this case is about putting information on the internet and the state does not have the power to censor the speech or the commerce of a citizen in another state."

But Jeffrey Kasky sees it differently.

"Does your First Amendment right to publish these blueprints outweigh my right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" said Kasky, who has two sons who survived the Parkland, Florida school shooting.

Kasky believes the plans are dangerous.

"I don't ever want anyone else to have to be the parent who knows that their child is huddled in a classroom while there's an active shooter walking around their school," he said. "It's extremely irresponsible for our government to allow this to go on."

Grewal also disagrees with the free speech claim.

“It’s not about the First Amendment,” he said. “It’s about deadly conduct, not speech.”

Defense Distributed agreed to temporarily block Pennsylvania residents from downloading the plans after state officials went to federal court in Philadelphia on Sunday seeking an emergency order. The company said it has also blocked access to users in New Jersey and Los Angeles.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)