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U.S. judge halts release of blueprints for 3-D printed guns

A printable pistol released to Internet was named “Liberator.” in April 2013.  CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Cody Wilson
A printable pistol released to Internet was named “Liberator.” in April 2013. CREDIT: Photo courtesy of Cody Wilson

WASHINGTON — A U.S. judge on Tuesday blocked the imminent release of blueprints for 3-D printed guns, hours before they were set to hit the internet, after several states sued to halt publication of designs to make weapons that security screening may not detect.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in Seattle, Washington, said the blueprints’ publication could cause irreparable harm to U.S. citizens. The decision blocked a settlement President Donald Trump’s administration had reached with the Texas-based company, which planned to put files online on Wednesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump raised concerns about the sale of plastic guns made with 3-D printers.

Eight states and the District of Columbia on Monday filed a lawsuit to fight a June settlement between the federal government and Defense Distributed allowing the Texas-based company to legally publish its designs.

Gun control proponents are concerned the weapons made from 3-D printers are untraceable, undetectable “ghost” firearms that pose a threat to global security. Some gun rights groups say the technology is expensive, the guns are unreliable and the threat is being overblown.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey and Susan Cornwell in Washington, DC, Steve Holland aboard Air Force One, Tina Bellon in New York and Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas Writing by Jon Herskovitz Editing by James Dalgleish and Phil Berlowitz)

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