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A Judge Extends the Ban on Posting 3-D Printed Gun Plans Online

A federal judge in Seattle on Monday ruled to continue a ban on the posting of 3-D printed gun plans online.

United States District Judge Robert S. Lasnik ruled in favor of Washington, D.C., and 19 states that had filed a lawsuit against Defense Distributed, a Texas-based open-source organization that runs an online database of gun files, to bar the company from posting 3-D printed gun plans online.

"Plaintiffs have a legitimate fear that adding undetectable and untraceable guns to the arsenal of weaponry already available will likely increase the threat of gun violence they and their people experience," Lasnik wrote in Monday's ruling.

The judge's decision extended his earlier ban, in which he'd ruled against Defense Distributed and Cody Wilson, its founder. Wilson argued that the First Amendment protected his right to publish the blueprints, but Lasnik found that "the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo" due to the "irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn."

The controversy surrounding 3-D printed guns made headlines last month after President Donald Trump tweeted that he was "looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public."

Lasnik's ruling briefly acknowledges the fact that such plans have been available on websites such as Github since they were first published five years ago, Ars Technica reports.