Brief #11—Gun Control

Policy Summary
After Cody Wilson settled a lawsuit with the government which allowed him to post blueprints online of how to print 3D guns, other states have retaliated in response. A plethora of states have begun attempting to make these blueprints illegal to post, and one judge from Seattle delayed the posting of the plans until the end of August. With the overwhelming flow of information and accessibility on the internet, however, it will be difficult to monitor these blueprints from appearing online.

In the ongoing debate and legal battle between free speech and gun safety, a US District Judge in Seattle, Robert Lasnik, has halted the plans for 3D printed guns to be posted until August 28th. This ensued after 8 states and the District of Columbia filed to block the settlement with Cody Wilson who had received $40,000 and free disbursement of the 3D printed gun blueprints.

Now, 19 states and the District of Columbia are pushing to make the sharing of these blueprints illegal altogether. On August 21st Judge Lasnik scheduled a hearing for the states who are looking to reverse the U.S. State Department’s ruling.

President Trump weighed in on Twitter on Tuesday saying, “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”. These comments come as no surprise given the current administration’s stance on guns – Wilson was initially sued by the State Department in 2013 under the Obama administration and only after Trump’s pro-gun administration took office did the Justice Department decide to settle with Wilson.

Even if the temporary court order becomes permanent, ensuring the blueprints are not posted or distributed on the internet will be extremely difficult to monitor. Before Wilson’s blueprints were asked to be removed, they were downloaded countless times and will be easy to disburse once more.

Engagement Resources

  • March For Our Lives – an organization started after the Parkland school shooting which aims to unify advocates for gun control around relevant issues. You can also find more information about the  Road to Change tour on their website. Consider donating or canvassing during the midterm elections on these issues with this organization.
  • Everytown – A movement of Americans working to end gun violence and build safer communities.
  • – A resource to utilize if you need to register, are unfamiliar with voter ID requirements, or election processes so you can be ready by November.

This Brief was written by USRESIST NEWS Analyst Sarah Barton:

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