AG Grewal to Secretary of State, U.S. Attorney General: Take Action to Remove 3-D Printable Gun Codes

TRENTON – Asserting that federal inaction has allowed printable 3-D gun codes to spread on the Internet, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today urged the nation’s Secretary of State and Attorney General to take “swift action” to remove these codes from copycat websites.

In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Attorney General Grewal joined Attorneys General for 20 states and the District of Columbia in calling on the federal government to take “immediate steps” to address the “urgent public safety risk posed by firearms that can be generated by use of a 3D printer.”

The letter points out that a coalition of nine state Attorneys General, including Attorney General Grewal, last week obtained a temporary restraining order preventing Texas-based Defense Distributed and founder Cody Wilson from posting new 3-D printable gun codes online and that also resulted in the removal of the codes Defense Distributed had already posted. Soon after Defense Distributed’s files were removed, those previously-posted files began appearing on other, copycat websites.

“We already put the brakes on Defense Distributed and Cody Wilson,” Attorney General Grewal said, “and our lawsuit to prevent them from posting new printable gun codes continues. But we also need to prevent the copycats from putting the safety of our residents and law enforcement officers at risk. I call on the federal government to join states like New Jersey in combatting this threat to national security.”

“Communications from the White House have indicated that the Administration is reconsidering the wisdom of its handling of the Defense Distributed case,” the letter notes, but “we have seen no evidence of any change in course to date. We are not aware of any efforts by the federal government to remove these and other downloadable 3D gun files from the Internet or to enforce federal law against those who have illegally posted these files.”

The letter asserts that New Jersey and the other participating states “will continue to do what lies within our authority to confront this public safety risk head on. Your swift action is needed as well.”

Today’s action follows on multiple actions Attorney General Grewal has taken to protect public safety and law enforcement safety from the threats that 3-D printable gun codes pose. On July 26, Attorney General Grewal wrote to Defense Distributed, calling on the company to “cease and desist” from publishing its printable gun codes because they would enable the creation of untraceable firearms – including assault weapons – that are illegal in New Jersey.

On July 30, Attorney General Grewal filed a lawsuit against Defense Distributed in New Jersey Superior Court, alleging violations of the State’s public nuisance and negligence laws. Responding to that ongoing suit, Cody Wilson committed to not publish new printable gun codes nationwide until a court hearing in September, and the court ordered that “Defendants have agreed that they will not upload any additional files” on their websites until that time.

The same day, a multi-state coalition including New Jersey secured a temporary restraining order from a federal court in Washington, which prevented the federal government from changing its rules to allow Defense Distributed to post these files. That, in turn, forced Defense Distributed to remove the 3-D printable gun codes it previously posted from the company’s websites.

Today’s letter explains that New Jersey and other participating states have taken steps to keep Defense Distributed and other copycat websites posting printable gun codes, while the federal government has failed to act. As the letter concludes, “The federal government’s actions have made it easier for violent criminals, transnational gangs and other bad actors to develop, acquire and conceal firearms, in violation of state and federal laws.”

“We urge the Department of State to take immediate steps to ensure compliance with the Arms Export Control Act and International Traffic in Arms Regulations,” the letter concludes. “There is no time to waste.”

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