According to the Associated Press, a study found that the United States is among six countries that make up half of the 250,000 deaths due to guns.
This study, conducted in 2016, concluded that increasing deaths by guns “is a major public healthy problem for humanity.” With the advent of 3D-printing technology, that same argument is being reiterated in 2018; guns are taking on a new level of accessibility.
The initial ban on spreading the blueprints to 3D-printed guns was on July 31st, 2018, just hours before they were to be available on the internet. US District Judge Robert Lasnik of Seattle instated the ban, which expired on Tuesday, Aug. 28th, 2018.
Lasnik has now extended the ban to keep “irreparable harm” from coming prevalent. The Trump administration has refuted the ban since its creation, however, backing the group Defense Distributed that owns the blueprints. Both parties believe that the blueprints are protected under the First and Second Amendments, thus deeming it unconstitutional to prohibit the distribution of said plans.
According to Al Jazeera, those in favor of gun control are concerned that the firearms made from 3D printers will be “untraceable, undetectable ‘ghost’ firearms that pose a threat to global security”. Allowing these blueprints to be available on the internet will only make a growing problem worse.
Despite Defense Distributed stating that they would publish the blueprints on Aug. 1, 2018, they instead released some files a few days before Lasnik’s ban. According to Al Jazeera, these plans include 3D-printable blueprints to aspects of the AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, which has been used in many US shootings.
Currently they can be found on several websites, however a lawyer for the group told Al Jazeera that they are reviewing Lasnik’s decision and “considering all options”.