The inventor of the world’s first 3D printable gun, Cody Wilson, filed a lawsuit this week against the State Department and several officials. The lawsuit claims the government violated his non-profit organization Defense Distributed’s First Amendment right to free speech—as well as citizens’ Second Amendment right to bear arms—by attempting to censor his online publication of design files for the Liberator, a 3D printable plastic pistol.
In the article “3D-gun creator's lawsuit a battle to protect free speech, says legal team,” published by The Guardian, Attorney Ansel Halliburton says, “You can see why the government wants to regulate it. Where the technology is now isn’t so much the problem, but if you extrapolate where it’s going, it’s going to be very cheap and easy to manufacture all kinds of dangerous things in not so many years.”
A Wired article, “3D Printed Gun Lawsuit Starts the War Between Arms Control and Free Speech”, quotes Mr. Halliburton’s earlier writing for TechCrunch on the conflict between free speech on the one hand and export controls and gun control on the other. “The State Department’s takedown demand probably qualifies as a prior restraint, to which courts are incredibly hostile, but the ability to download a file, press ‘Print,’ and have gun parts come out could also tip some judges toward calling gun CAD files functional things and allowing the government to regulate them.”
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 21, 2015 and is filed under Subpoenas, Internet Law News.