Judge issues injunction on posting plans for 3-D printing of guns, but they may still be online

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

Twenty-one attorneys general, including Virginia’s Mark Herring, won a preliminary injunction Monday against a company that wanted to distribute plans to print plastic guns from 3-D printers online.

“The Trump administration’s reckless plan to make 3D-printed guns widely available and easily accessible was one of the most dangerous ideas I have ever heard,” Herring said in a news release.

“As a country, we need to focus on keeping our communities safer, not making it easier for dangerous individuals or criminals to get their hands on home-printed, untraceable and undetectable guns.”

Defense Distributed, a Texas-based company, planned to post blueprints for the plastic guns on its website Aug. 1 after years of litigation that started under President Barack Obama ended with a settlement coming from President Donald Trump’s administration.

The company has said being ordered to remove the plans is a free speech violation, while states have cited concerns about creating untraceable weapons with the plans.

“3D-printed guns could be undetectable by metal detectors, untraceable because of a lack of a serial number, and sought out by criminals and domestic abusers who cannot legally possess a firearm or pass a background check,” Herring’s office said. “The company that wants to distribute the plans online does not require proof of age or proof of eligibility before allowing a customer to download the plans.”

However, it’s likely the downloadable plans are still floating around the Internet — they were downloaded hundreds of times earlier this month before a judge ordered them to be taken down.