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
JEFFERSON CITY - Five Jefferson City teenagers went to a party Friday night. By the end of the night, most... More >>
1 day 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 - Columbia police arrested a man after a stabbing by the Columbia Post Office on Monday. Police arrested... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 3:26:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A new Missouri House bill would prohibit organizations like the NCAA from preventing student-athletes from receiving compensation... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 2:38:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The city's big plans for Columbia Regional Airport (COU) got a shot in the arm Friday with the... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 2:19:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri lawmakers will once again try to pass a bill to create a statewide prescription drug monitoring... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 12:02:00 PM CST February 24, 2020 in News
Anxiety is your body's reaction to stress. According to the American Psychiatric Association, anxiety disorders are the most common type... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 11:28:00 AM CST February 24, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
(CNN) -- Harvey Weinstein was found guilty Monday of committing a criminal sex act in the first degree involving one... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 10:59:00 AM CST February 24, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - House Representatives talked Monday about health care for children who are eligible for the MO HealthNet. ... More >>
1 day ago Monday, February 24 2020 Feb 24, 2020 Monday, February 24, 2020 10:22:00 AM CST February 24, 2020 in News
BRUNSWICK - After a year of record-breaking flooding, neighbors in Brunswick hope they don't see a repeat this summer. ... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 8:22:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
LINN - A lot of the times it's hard to know the affect you'll have on someone until after it's... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 7:08:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in Sports
BOONVILLE — Community members in Boonville gathered Sunday in support of moving the Boonslick Regional Library (BRL) Cooper County Branch... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 6:15:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) will celebrate the 150th anniversary of... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 5:23:00 PM CST February 23, 2020 in News
AP — State attorneys general are finding a national settlement over the toll of opioids to be elusive, as some... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 11:17:32 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of boy scouts and girl scouts showed up for water safety event at Hickman High School Sunday... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 10:34:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
SEDALIA — Pettis County prosecutors brought six charges Monday against a Sedalia man. Patrol Commander David Woolery said officers... More >>
2 days ago Sunday, February 23 2020 Feb 23, 2020 Sunday, February 23, 2020 9:25:00 AM CST February 23, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 31°
6am 30°
7am 29°
8am 31°
9am 32°