AP NEWS

Editorial Continue ban on DIY guns

August 29, 2018

The issue: A Texas-based company has sought to put blueprints for making 3D plastic guns on the internet, but for five years has been blocked by the government. The Justice Department argued the move would amount to an illegal gun export since anyone could download the plans from anywhere in the world.

Defense Distributed joined with the Second Amendment Foundation and challenged the decision saying several constitutional rights were violated.

But putting blueprints for untraceable, unregistered, undetectable guns — that could be accessed by terrorists and felons — is a grave threat to public safety.

In June, for indiscernible and undisclosed reasons, the Justice Department under Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed course and settled the suit.

Further, in an insult to taxpayers, the government agreed to pay the nearly $40,000 in legal fees incurred by the challengers. After five years of fighting, the government astonishingly gave up and gave in.

Defense Distributed was cleared to put access to the 3D-gun blueprints online Aug. 1, bypassing license, registration or firearms’ serial numbers.

What we said: “Illegal guns on the street are dangerous enough to public safety without adding new unregistered, undetectable, untraceable firearms to the potent mix. Stop the insanity.”

— July 29, 2018

What happened next: Connecticut, with 19 other states and the District of Columbia, swiftly sued the Trump administration to block the blueprints. More than four dozen groups wrote to implore President Donald Trump to stop the special exemption for Defense Diversified and senators wrote to the Justice Department.

The day before the make-your-own gun guidelines were to go online, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order.

What we said: “The judge’s temporary restraining order allows some breathing room for a much-needed discussion on how to regulate the emerging technology that allows anyone with the means to make deadly weapons. ... The focus must be on public safety, not sidestepping existing laws and regulations.”

— Aug. 15, 2018

And then this week: On Monday U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik agreed with the coalition of state attorneys general that access to the untraceable plastic guns would pose a security risk and extended the temporary restraining order right before it was to expire. The decision by the Seattle judge will be in force until the case is resolved.

Remember: This week started with a 24-year-old Baltimore man killing two people and wounding 10 others Sunday when he opened fire inside a pizzeria and bar in Florida that was hosting a video-gaming tournament. By Tuesday, the 240th day of the year, this country experienced 236 mass shootings, according to the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive. We’ve had nearly one mass shooting a day, and no state is immune.

Act: Can anyone seriously think this is an acceptable way of life today in America? It is vitally important that the states keep the pressure on the government. Know where the candidates for governor of Connecticut stand on this issue and vote accordingly.

AP RADIO
Update hourly