JUST IN: In loophole, Defense Distributed head #CodyWilson says his company will begin selling blueprints of 3D printed guns on website instead of giving them away #LiveDesk pic.twitter.com/vUTrD4cUlj— Dan Snyder (@DanSnyderFOX25) August 28, 2018
Despite a court order extending a ban on releasing online blueprints for 3D printed guns, Cody Wilson, the owner of Austin-based Defense Distributed, announced at a press conference on Tuesday he would sell the plans to any customer that wanted them, instead of simply giving them away for free.
Saying he had already sold some plans to customers, Wilson added that he would allow his clientele to purchase the instructions for 3D printed guns for whatever dollar amount that they wanted — even as low as a penny — in spite of a court order from last month that barred him from doing so.
“Anyone who wants to get these files is going to get them. They can name their own price,” Wilson said.
Wilson said he had already received 400 orders for the 3D guns, which can be printed by anyone who has access to a 3D printer. Many people have criticized the ability to print guns due to the fact that the weapons can fall into the hands of anybody with access to 3D printer technology, including individuals who aren’t permitted by law to own a weapon.
This is why U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik extended the temporary ban on allowing the plans online.
“It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger,” he said in his ruling Monday.
Wilson plans to sidestep the legal barriers to giving his plans by selling them through other means. He said he could sell them on his website, then send the plans by standard mail with a thumb drive of the plans in an envelope to customers. He also intends to send them through email and other secure file sharing services.
But doing so would be dangerous, for obvious reasons. It’s exactly as Lasnik said — these guns would be untraceable, making the jobs of law enforcement officers all-the-more difficult when dealing with potential crimes. The technology would also provide an easier means of getting a weapon into the hands of those who shouldn’t be holding them, including felons or even terrorists.
It’s unclear what the next steps will be, but states’ attorneys general need to come up with something fast in order to ensure these dangerous and untraceable weapons can’t be made.
Banner/thumbnail image credit: Kyodo/Reuters