Though a federal judge has temporarily blocked the dissemination of blueprints showing how to make guns using 3-D printers, it remains legal for people to make their own firearms at home without a license - a relatively rare practice but one that the government can not fully monitor.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik granted a temporary restraining order on Tuesday night barring a trove of downloadable information about creating the do-it-yourself weapons.
Lawmakers say that the 3D printable guns are unsafe because they are unregistered and can be undetectable by metal detectors because they are made from plastic.
Another gun made by a 3D printer.
Gun-control advocates said the files would enable individuals to avoid background checks by using 3-D printers to make guns at home. "As we argued in the suit we filed yesterday, it is - simply - insane to give criminals the tools to build untraceable, undetectable 3D printed guns at the touch of a button".
A few days after Defense Distributed posted its instructions for making a "Liberator" plastic gun in 2013, the US State Department sent a three-page cease-and-desist letter to Wilson demanding that the group remove them from its website. A lawyer for the company said he didn't know how many blueprints had been downloaded since then.
Unless money is no object for an owner, 3D-gun printing might be considered by some a cost-prohibitive endeavor that's more hard than simply buying a gun.
In truth, "undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years, " said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's political arm.
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But some believe the ability for anyone to manufacture a gun makes it much easier for people who are prohibited from owning guns to acquire them.
Forge Jax says they've never made 3D printed guns and they will stick to other 3D prototypes. The "ghost guns" blueprints have already been downloaded thousands of times since they were leaked online this week.
After a years-long court battle, the state department in late June settled the case against Defense Distributed.
The owner, Cody Wilson, says his goal is to make every gun design on earth available to anyone online.
Democrats filed legislation that would prohibit the publication of a digital file online that allows a 3D printer to manufacture a firearm.
Thrasher says a steel, manufactured gun is safer for the person behind the trigger and anyone around it. In fact, Donald Trump told everyone on Twitter Tuesday that he had spoken to the NRA and implied that he and the organization are both against universal access to DIY firearms. I think a lot of people like to do things themselves.
Plastic gun designs got around this restriction by adding a removable metal block, which isn't required for the firearm to function.
"The age of the downloadable gun formally begins", the website states.