Gun control group Brady Town to Prevent Gun Violence on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the State Department for failing to provide documents relating to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed five months ago. The Brady Campaign had requested documents pertaining to the State Department's settlement with Defense Distributed which granted the company the right to publish 3-D printed files.
Previously the State Department had said that 3-D printed guns were a national security risk because anyone with a 3-D printer could print the firearms.
"The Trump Administration must explain to the public why it chose to reverse longstanding State Department policy opposing publication of blueprints, and decide to allow terrorists and other dangerous people to make undetectable, untraceable guns with 3-D printers in complete anonymity," Kris Brown, President of Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement. "Instead of making it infinitely easier for the wrong people to get their hands on guns, it’s the government’s responsibility to prevent the inevitable threats to its citizens posed by weapons that can pass through metal detectors in airports, schools, and other public places."
“The State Department consistently argued that such untraceable and undetectable 3-D printed guns were a national security risk, and it prevailed on this argument at each step of the litigation against Defense Distributed,” Brady Center attorney Joshua Scharff said. “In April, the State Department again raised these national security concerns under oath to a federal court. Citizens have the right to know why the State Department suddenly abandoned its winning position. We do not know what the State Department is hiding, but we intend to find out.”
Multiple states previously filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Trump administration's decision. A judge eventually issued a temporary restraining order against Defense Distributed. What gun control groups didn't anticipate though? Other pro-gun groups coming to Defense Distributed's aid and creating a website to distribute the files that were created. After all, once something's on the internet, it lives there forever.
Cody Wilson, Defense Distributed's founder, never tried making any money off of his 3-D files. Instead, he continually said this was a First Amendment issue and argued that this was about the spreading of information.
This is another gun-related lawsuit added to multiple lawsuits the Trump administration is currently facing. Gun Owners of America vowed to file a lawsuit challenging the newly-released bump stock ban. And a set of three pro-gun groups already filed a similar lawsuit.