US DROPS PROHIBITION ON FILES FOR 3D PRINTED GUNS

Reason.com and others reported on 10th July that the State and Defense Departments had settled a lawsuit and agreed to end their prior restraint of distribution of computer files for the production of 3D printed firearms.  The US Munitions List had come to include computer files for 3D printing of ordinary firearms.  In 2015, a lawsuit against the ban on distributing 3D printing files within the US was lodged citing the Second Amendment.  However, the US Government having by then prevailed in the courts, in May 2018, the Trump Administration proposed revising revise the relevant ITAR export regulations.  It has now been announced that if a particular firearm is no longer covered by ITAR, then it would be illogical for ITAR to be applied to instructions for making it.  Hence, now one may freely publish 3D printing instructions for firearms that are not covered under ITAR, but the restrictions on the distribution of 3D printing information for items that are still under ITAR, such as machine guns or rifles over .50 calibre, remain in place.  Wired.com reports that one of the plaintiffs in the case, Defense Distributed, is relaunching their its Defcad.com as a repository of firearm blueprints that it has been creating and collecting, from the original single-shot 3D-printable pistol to AR-15 frames and more exotic DIY semi-automatic weapons.  The relaunched site will be open to user contributions, and is intended to become a searchable, user-generated database of practically any firearm imaginable.

https://reason.com/volokh/2018/07/10/us-government-drops-prohibition-on-files

https://www.wired.com/story/a-landmark-legal-shift-opens-pandoras-box-for-diy-guns/

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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