Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin today announced he has joined a multistate lawsuit to block the Trump Administration action giving criminals and terrorists access to downloadable, untraceable, and undetectable 3D-printed weapons and to permanently prohibit the release of firearm designs by Defense Distributed.
In the amended complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington adding Rhode Island and 10 other states to the list of plaintiffs, Kilmartin cites specific harm to the State as a result of the federal government's abrupt policy shift to allow the distribution of firearm designs for reproduction using a 3D printer. The complaint, in part, states:
The Government Defendants' "temporary modification" of the USML (United States Munitions List) Category 1 to allow "any United States person" to "access, discuss, use, reproduce, or otherwise benefit from" CAD files for the automated production of 3-D printed weapons obfuscates, hinders, and contravenes Rhode Island law regarding the regulation of firearms. Persons currently prohibited from possessing firearms – or persons allowed to possess a firearm(s) after proper licensing, qualification, and/or medical review – will be able to circumvent and violate Rhode Island law by manufacturing such a weapon on a 3D printer. Moreover, by virtue of their production on a 3D printer, these weapons will be unmarked, without identifying marks, and untraceable in violation of Rhode Island law. The Government's actions will cause irreparable injury to Rhode Island and its citizens if allowed to stand.
Commenting on the matter, Attorney General Kilmartin said, "This is a case where the federal government abruptly and inexplicably reversed course, thereby creating a significant public safety crisis by allowing the mass manufacture and distribution of illegal and untraceable firearms that will inevitably end up in the hands of individuals who are not legally allowed to possess firearms. While we will continue to fight this in Court, I strongly urge Congress and our own General Assembly to enact legislation that expressly prohibits 3D printed firearms."
While a federal judge earlier this week granted the plaintiffs a temporary restraining order prohibiting Defense Distributed from posting firearm designs on its website through August 28, 2018, the case will proceed on the merits.