Injunction Follows Earlier Restraining Order that Blocked Access to Downloadable 3D Gun Files
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro, along with eight other Attorneys General, won a nationwide preliminary injunction today that blocks the federal government from allowing the distribution of downloadable 3D guns online.
“This nationwide injunction is a tremendous win for public safety and common sense,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “These 3D-printed guns represent an immediate threat to our communities, and we will continue the legal fight to ensure they don’t end up in the hands of children, criminals, terrorists, and others who cannot legally possess firearms. This is a victory for law enforcement in Pennsylvania and throughout the country.”
The group of Attorneys General previously won a restraining order in federal court ruling just hours before a Texas company was prepared to make 3D gun files available nationally. Before that Attorney General Shapiro, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Police took legal action that successfully blocked access to 3D guns files in Pennsylvania.
On July 30, Attorney General Shapiro and colleagues from eight other states, including Washington and Massachusetts, filed a multistate lawsuit against the U.S. Department of State, seeking a nationwide injunction preventing these 3D downloadable gun files from going online. One day later a federal judge in Washington ordered a temporary restraining order in the case.
The lawsuit argued that the State Department’s action to reverse course and allow the release of these gun files violates the Administrative Procedure Act and violates states’ rights to enforce their own firearms safety laws.
The public safety controversy erupted last month after Defense Distributed settled with the federal government following a lengthy litigation, allowing it to continue its ‘at home’ gun-printing business. Left unchecked, Americans would be able to download a wide range of actual, working guns, including AR-15s, and 3D print their own guns – without serial numbers and without being subjected to the background check system for gun sales currently in place under federal and state law through licensed firearms dealers.
Before today’s nationwide restraining order, the company, Defense Distributed, had promised that “the age of the downloadable gun formally begins” on August 1.
“The harm to Pennsylvanians would have been immediate and irreversible,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “Defense Distributed was promising to distribute guns in Pennsylvania in reckless disregard of the state laws that apply to gun sales and purchases in our Commonwealth. Once these untraceable guns are on our streets and in our schools, we can never get them back. The nationwide restraining order we won is an important step forward for states’ rights and public safety, but we will not rest until we permanently stop this company from moving forward with its reckless plans to make these 3D gun files available everywhere on the Internet.”
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