TRENTON – Printable guns? Are they safe? Attorney General Gurbir Grewal doesn’t think so. On July 25, Grewal sent a “cease and desist” letter to a Texas-based gun developer urging him not to release information that could help people 3-D print firearms.
Defense Distributed of Texas allegedly plans to release computer files to the public on August 1 that would equip them with the information necessary to create their own firearms with just a 3-D printer.
Grewal is threatening legal action if the gun developer doesn’t comply with the “cease and desist.”
“You are directed to cease and desist from publishing printable-gun computer files for use by New Jersey residents,” Grewal warned in the letter. “The files you plan to publish offer individuals, including criminals, codes that they can use to create untraceable firearms—and even to make assault weapons that are illegal in my state.”
Prior court cases, as well as the state’s public nuisance law, demonstrate that the state stands against gun manufacturers on this front, calling it “reckless.”
Defense Distributed’s plan is to allow “do-it-yourself guns” to be possible for everyone with a 3-D printer. They can download a code and create an operational firearm, stated Grewal. He added that these codes can be accessed and used even by those who are legally not allowed to own a firearm, such as those with mental illness, prior conviction, a history of domestic violence, etc., which makes them a danger to the public.
“Posting this material online is no different than driving to New Jersey and handing out hard-copy files on any street corner. The federal government is no longer willing to stop Defense Distributed from publishing this dangerous code, and so New Jersey must step up,” he said. “Not only are these plans to publish printable-gun files dangerous, they also violate New Jersey law.”
In 2012, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson successfully created a printable plastic pistol which he coined “Liberator .38.” Wilson put the plans for the firearm online but was later blocked by the federal government. After this, he sued and settled with the US State Department. The settlement now allows Defense Distributed to release computer files for printable guns as of August 1, 2018.
Now that August is nearly upon us, Grewal is taking action against Wilson’s company to halt the “flood the illegal firearms market” that could pose a threat to the public.
However, Wilson has openly stated that public safety is not a concern of his. Wilson has stated: “All this Parkland stuff, the students, all these dreams of ‘common sense gun reforms’? No.”
Grewal’s letter concluded with a demand for a halt in publishing the computer files that could facilitate this. “Should you fail to comply with this letter, my Office will initiate legal action barring you from publishing these files before August 1, 2018.”