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Judge Temporarily Blocks Trump Administration Rules For 3D-Printed Guns

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Courtesy Transportation and Security Administration
TSA agents at Reno-Tahoe International Airport found a replica gun made with 3D-printed parts in July 2016.

A federal judge in Washington state issued a temporary injunction on Friday blocking Trump administration rule changes that could allow people to share plans for 3D-printed firearms in person, by mail or email.

The rules would shift oversight for some commercial arms exports from the State Department to the Department of Commerce, which said plans for 3D-printed guns posted online would still require an export license, but plans distributed by mail or in person would not.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who is leading a coalition of 21 states including Oregon, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. in a federal lawsuit to block the new rules from going into effect, said person-to-person sharing is a huge loophole.

"If the Trump Administration has its way, these ghost guns will be available to anyone regardless of age, mental health or criminal history,” he said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Richard Jones said easily accessible 3D firearm plans “implicates serious national security and public interests.”

“The proliferation of 3D gun files on the internet likely renders ineffective arms embargoes, export controls and other measures used to restrict the availability of uniquely dangerous weapons sought by those seeking to commit acts of terrorism or other serious crimes,” Jones said in his decision.

The injunction means that for now, the State Department will continue to regulate 3D-printed firearm plans and will continue to bar distribution of the plans.

Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.

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