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California files lawsuit to block release of plans for 3D printed firearms

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 21:39:54-04

A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday afternoon to stop the release of blueprints for making 3D printed guns.

The blueprints were set to be made available to the public on Wednesday after the federal government settled with the company that makes the plans available online.

California is now joining seven other states to fight back against their release by filing a lawsuit.

The 3D firearms are nicknamed "ghost guns" because there’s no registration or serial number.

Bill Plummer is a gun owner and President of The San Luis Obispo Sportsmen Association. He likes the idea of more access to information but thinks 3D firearms could change the landscape of how criminals get guns.

“From a conceptual standpoint, it’s entertaining. I don’t think it’s very practical. Even though it’s for the good guys, the bad guys are going to take advantage of it rather quickly,” Plummer said.

California lawmakers also passed laws to make "ghost guns" easier to track and harder to dispose of.

Within ten days of building a firearm, gun owners will be required to register the gun and engrave a serial number on it.

The typically plastic gun will also need a piece of stainless steel embedded in it so it can’t go through metal detectors undetected.

Plummer thinks it will be tough to get criminals to comply.

“The bad guys all have guns that did not go through all the things the good guys have to go through to get theirs,” Plummer said.

It would cost several thousand dollars to buy a 3D printer capable of manufacturing a 3D gun.

Various 3D printer instructions have already been downloaded thousands of times.