Aug 11, 2018
Los Angeles: California has joined 19 other states in the US in officially suing the government to block the publication of downloadable blueprints for so-called “ghost guns.”
On June 29, the US government abandoned two favourable federal court rulings authorizing the administration to block the publication and reached a settlement with a Texas-based company that distributes blueprints for 3D-printed guns, which are called “ghost guns” because they are untraceable and could be manufactured on a 3-D printer.
The agreement became public in late July. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra on Friday joined a bipartisan coalition led by Washington State calling on the government to change course and block the company from posting blueprints online, ABC 7 NEWS reported.
The coalition, which filed a suit on August 2 as plaintiffs, issued a letter expressing grave concerns about the US Department of State’s failure to enforce federal law to keep untraceable firearms out of the hands of terrorists, criminals, and others seeking to do harm.
The attorney generals said in the letter that the company had posted several downloadable 3-D gun files on its website, “including files that had been previously identified as subject to the controls of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations”. This posed a public safety risk, however nothing has been done about it.
“This is a manufactured crisis. Some of these weapons may even be undetectable by x-ray machines and magnetometres in places like airports, courthouses and other government buildings. They are also untraceable by law enforcement,” the letter said.
“The federal government’s actions have made it easier for violent criminals, transnational gangs and other bad actors to develop, acquire and conceal firearms,” it read, adding “we will continue to do what lies within our authority to confront this public safety risk head on”.
The California Attorney General’s office also issued a press release on Friday, saying Trump’s giving the green light to distributing blueprints of 3D-printed guns “needlessly endangers our children, our loved ones and our men and women in law enforcement”.
“We’re asking the court to put the brakes on the Trump administration’s foolish and irrational action. President Trump must understand that his fingerprints will be all over these untraceable ghost guns if his inexplicable decision leads to the use of these dangerous weapons to commit crimes,” Becerra said.
In a separate move, Facebook announced that it was taking measures to prevent the sharing of the blueprints for 3-D printed guns on its platforms.