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Creator of 3D-Printed Guns is Selling Blueprints, Despite Court Rulings

Loopholes make all the difference sometimes…

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The owner of a Texas company called Defense Distributed has created blueprints for people to 3D-print guns. On Tuesday, Defense Distributed owner, Cody Wilson began selling the blueprints through his website despite the federal court order on Monday that banned the company from posting the plans online.

Wilson said at a news conference that he started selling the plans Tuesday morning, and currently has over 400 orders. He claimed he found a loophole to Monday’s federal court order. Instead of posting blueprints online to be downloaded for free, Wilson sells the blueprints to customers, letting them set their own price. From there, he saves the blueprints to an external drive and sends it to the buyer for approval via standard mail, email or by another secure transfer channel. In addition to USD, Wilson also permits payment in cryptocurrency.

Nineteen states and Washington D.C. sought the court order to prevent a settlement with Defense Distributed and companies like it. The business model of Defense Distributed could potentially make it easier for anyone, including felons, minors and those suffering from mental illness, to make untraceable 3D-printed guns.  

“Anyone who wants these files is going to get them. I’m gonna sell it to them, I’m gonna ship them. That began this morning,” Wilson said. “That will never be interrupted. The free exchange of these ideas will never be interrupted…I’m following yesterday’s orders that direct me to sell the files,” Wilson said. “The judge was very gracious to put that in black lettering.”

“3D-printed guns represent a supreme threat to our safety and security, and we are grateful that Judge Lasnik recognized it as such,” Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said in an NPR report.

As 3D printing technology continues to advance, sale of illegal paraphernalia, especially firearms, increases as well.

“Already, there have been a wave of dangerous actors seeking to illegally post the blueprints online. We are committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this threat from continuing further,” Gardner said.

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Erin Whitten is currently CMN's Senior Correspondent and is currently a student at Arizona State University majoring in Mass Communications and Media Studies.

Kelly Rosenblatt is a senior majoring in Communications at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. Raised in Austin, Kelly grew up surrounded by good food and even better music. Apart from excessively planning her friends’ birthdays, Kelly loves trying new restaurants, attending live music events and blogging about her experiences at https://rosenblattkl.wixsite.com/sigueme.

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