A lot of people lately have been cryin’, “The sky is falling” now that Defense Distributed (DD) has been given the green-light by the Justice Department to once again publish online computer files for 3-D printable firearms.
Two of those chicken littles include New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and L.A. City Attorney Michael Feuer, who have gone so far as to threaten to sue DD if they go ahead with their plan, to exercise their First Amendment right of free speech, and release the blueprints this week on Aug. 1st.
Next week, a Texas-based company called Defense Distributed plans to publish computer files that would make it possible for anyone with a 3D printer to make their own untraceable assault weapons at home. This threatens all of us in New Jersey.
— NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal (@NewJerseyOAG) July 26, 2018
To which the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has said, in a manner of speaking, NOT SO FAST! On Sunday, SAF filed its own lawsuit against the two government lawyers on the grounds that they are engaging in “unconstitutional prior restraint.”
“What Grewal and Feuer are attempting is an unconstitutional exercise of prior restraint,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb in a press release. “They are trying to prevent Defense Distributed and its founder, Cody Wilson, from exercising free speech under color of law.”
“We have the right to publish this information,” added Wilson, “and now the New Jersey Attorney General and Los Angeles city attorney can pay for it.” Plaintiffs are seeking declaratory and injunctive relief,
damages, and attorney fees.
SEE ALSO: Defense Distributed on Beating Back DOJ Censorship of DIY Firearms: ‘The era of the downloadable gun has formally begun’
It was Obama’s Justice Department that ordered the Texas-based company to pull down its materials back in 2013. Late last month, the DOJ reversed course and settled with DD following a multi-year legal battle with SAF.
Since that announcement, anti-gunners nationwide have been scrambling trying to find a way to prevent those files from being shared. Brady Campaign, Everytown for Gun Safety and the Giffords Law Center filed a lawsuit of their own asking for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. But that request was shot down by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin, Texas last week.
🚨#LosAngeles City Attorney Mike Feuer & @ManhattanDA Cyrus Vance, Jr. to @StateDept‘s @SecPompeo: NO #DIY #3dguns!!! https://t.co/53oDcLWO0j@ProsecutorsAGV @davidhogg111 @WAGV @MomsDemand @GiffordsCourage#GunControlNow pic.twitter.com/u3k6IvvnG3
— LA City Attorney (@CityAttorneyLA) July 29, 2018
“This is quickly turning into a classic First Amendment case,” Gottlieb observed. “People publish all sorts of information online, but because this case involves technical information on production of firearm components on a 3-D printer, these anti-rights officials are trying to squelch it. We cannot allow this to happen.
“You cannot exercise the right to keep and bear arms without being able to buy or make your own firearm,” he concluded.
Until a decision is reached, DD will hold off on sharing files with customers in New Jersey, California, and Pennsylvania (where a similar complaint was issued). But for everyone else everywhere else it should be all systems go!