Attorneys general across the country, including North Carolina's Attorney General Josh Stein, have filed suit against a federal regulation allowing the posting on the internet of blueprints to make guns on 3D printers.
AG Stein joined 19 other states' AGs and that of the District of Columbia in filing the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle. The attorneys general, led by New York's Tish James, claim that if the blueprints are allowed to be posted online, anyone could use the files to craft "unregistered and untraceable weapons that could be difficult to detect," according to an Associated Press report.
This move by the coalition of state law enforcement officers is one of a number of attempts to stop the Trump administration from allowing the blueprints. The White House wants to make the move via regulation.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein | twitter.com/NCAGO
Supporters of allowing the documents to be released believe there is a constitutional right to publish, while opponents argue that it will lead to an increase in gun violence by more easily putting weapons in criminal hands. An earlier lawsuit by the states led to a bar on the publication of the files, with a federal judge stating that the White House violated procedure.
“Why is the Trump administration working so hard to allow domestic abusers, felons and terrorists access to untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns?” Washington state’s attorney general Bob Ferguson said in a statement, according to the AP.
In the latest lawsuit, the attorneys general claim the government is acting illegally and that allowing this to happen will “make it far easier for individuals ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law to obtain a deadly weapon without undergoing a background check." It is further claimed that the Department of Commerce does not have the resources or power to properly regulate 3D-printed guns.
“Ghost guns endanger every single one of us,” New York AG James said in a statement. “While the president and his administration know these homemade weapons pose an imminent threat, he continues to cater to the gun lobby — risking the lives of millions of Americans."