A group of Democrat-controlled states said it sued to block the Trump administration from allowing 3-D gun manufacturers to publish instructions on how to make “downloadable” guns.
The coalition is challenging the Trump Administration’s decision to enter into a settlement allowing Texas non-profit Defense Distributed to disseminate its manufacturing manual.
The multistate case that was to be filed Monday follows earlier efforts by individual state attorneys general and gun-control groups to prevent Defense Distributed from following through with a plan they say is a public safety disaster in waiting. Defense Distributed agreed to temporarily block Pennsylvania Internet users from downloading its blueprints after legal threats from that state’s attorney general.
“I have a question for the Trump Administration: why are you allowing dangerous criminals easy access to weapons?” Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a statement. “These downloadable guns are unregistered and very difficult to detect, even with metal detectors. If the Trump Administration won’t keep us safe, we will.”
The federal government initially argued, successfully in court, that the manuals for 3-D guns violate firearm export laws, but the Trump administration later reached a settlement that allows downloadable guns to be distributed. Ferguson and his allies in the lawsuit argue that the administration’s position violates federal administrative law and state’s rights under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment.
The complaint in Seattle federal court couldn’t immediately be verified in court records.
The U.S. said last week that the export-control regulations Ferguson wants reinstated are being addressed by proposed regulatory changes that would reassign federal oversight for weapons that don’t give the U.S. a critical military advantage. On Friday, a federal judge in Texas denied a request from gun-control groups to block Defense Distributed from releasing its blueprints.