Legal experts weigh in on 3D printed guns debate

1 year 6 months 3 weeks ago Wednesday, August 01 2018 Aug 1, 2018 Wednesday, August 01, 2018 12:49:00 PM CDT August 01, 2018 in News
By: Blake Sammann, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Legal experts are reacting a decision by a federal judge to halt the publishing of blueprints showing how to print guns using 3D technology.   

Washington judge Andrew Lasnik Tuesday temporarily blocked a settlement between the federal government and the Texas-based gun rights group Defense Distributed

The settlement would have allowed Defense Distributed to legally post blueprints online detailing how to print guns in 3D.

MU law professor Royce Barondes, who teaches firearms law, said Lasnik used an administrative statue to block the settlement.

"A federal judge has said that it needs to ascertain whether or not the law governing how rules are changed and promulgated by the federal government, whether those statutes have been followed," he said.

Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, told NBC not being able to post the blueprints is a violation of both his First and Second Amendment rights.

"I don't think you should have the ability or anyone else should have the ability to control your access to it on the internet or your ability to print it on a machine," he said.

According to statement from Josh Blackman, a Defense Distributed lawyer, said this is a free speech case.

"These are merely instructions on how to build something," he said.

Barondes said it's a "significant issue" as to whether computer instructions are the type of communication that is protected by the First Amendment.

"In the United States, the federal government has not prohibited individuals from making their firearms, so a restriction on speech that prevented people from making their firearms would be unusual," he said. 

The idea of people being able to print untraceable plastic guns has sparked a great deal of controversy and legal uncertainty. Barondes said no one has figured out yet exactly where 3D printed guns fit in with the Second Amendment.

"I suppose the closest analogy would be restrictions on zoning, places where firearms are sold and restrictions on them through zoning ordinances," he said. "That's a matter that has split federal judges in their decisions."

But Barondes said it's not the 3D printed plastic "ghost guns" that worry him most. 

"What strikes me as potentially more important are the issues involving files for manufacturing completed firearms from partially completed ones." he said.

According to Barondes, federal and state governments don't consider partially completed guns to be firearms. 

"These arms, that people can complete, would be out of metal, and so they would be much more robust than ones that are printed out of plastic," he said. "There are what are called '80 pecent complete manufactures' which are capable of being sold by dealers, brought over the internet without federal regulation."

Barondes said access to 3D printed guns and their legality is problem that won't be solved soon.

"It's going to go on for a long period of time I think. There are a number of states involved and a number of defendants," he said.

According to CNN, the issue will return to court August 10 to decide whether an preliminary injunction is needed.

KOMU 8 News is asking what you think. You can let us know by participating in our Facebook poll.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Columbia neighborhood watch is still relevant despite social media and sites like Nextdoor. Neighborhood watch programs encourage... More >>
56 minutes ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:51:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lieutenant Governor Mike Kehoe today filed to run for election in 2020. Kehoe has served as... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 5:12:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia Public Works plow crews are scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, to prepare for possible... More >>
1 hour ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 4:54:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY— Tuesday at the Missouri State Capitol, representatives heard testimony from people in regards to a house bill that... More >>
3 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 3:25:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson and Auditor Nicole Galloway filed to run for governor on Tuesday. It was... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:26:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA -- The Civil Rights Movement was a time of racially charged protests and marches. Some activists took to the... More >>
4 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:10:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia College announced Tuesday it is laying off 49 employees across the nation, including 25 at its Columbia... More >>
5 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:59:00 PM CST February 25, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA- An announcement from Bishop Shawn McKnight at Father Tolton today revealed the school's $6.2 million-dollar debt will be completely... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:46:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri joined a bipartisan, multistate investigation of JUUL Labs on Tuesday, according to Missouri Attorney General Eric... More >>
7 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 11:33:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Snuggling next to my kitties while their furry chests softly rumble is a proven antidote to the day's... More >>
9 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:16:39 AM CST February 25, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - Police arrested a man connected to a deadly shooting during a home invasion in Columbia in early February.... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:17:28 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
FULTON - Three people were arrested in Fulton Tuesday morning after one person fled from a traffic stop. A... More >>
10 hours ago Tuesday, February 25 2020 Feb 25, 2020 Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:03:00 AM CST February 25, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - In the state of Missouri, incarcerated or formerly incarcerated residents are unable to vote. There is... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:42:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - When snow falls in mid-Missouri, the sounds of shovels scraping across the driveway mean freedom to Larry Shinn.... More >>
21 hours ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 9:33:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Five Jefferson City teenagers went to a party Friday night. By the end of the night, most... More >>
22 hours ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 8:13:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Stephen Sokoloff, a Missouri special prosecutor, has completed his investigation into the Fulton police shooting death of... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 4:51:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is investigating an incident in which a Columbia Police patrol vehicle was struck by... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 4:27:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Before classes had even begun, a judge stood in front of Justin's law school class to tell them... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 3:35:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
7pm 37°
8pm 36°
9pm 35°
10pm 35°