Jeff Sessions’ DOJ has issued a statement to the Democrat Attorney Generals for their lawsuit against 3D gun files. The Free Beacon reports:
The Department of Justice announced on Thursday that it filed a brief in opposition to a preliminary injunction against a State Department agreement with 3D-printed gun pioneer Cody Wilson. The injunction was requested by a group of state attorneys general in federal court.
In the brief, DOJ accused the AGs of misunderstanding the issue at hand in the settlement. It further claimed that the AGs want the Department of State to exceed the authority granted to them under current law. DOJ said the case was not about the legality of 3D-printed firearms but, rather, about the potential export of technical firearms data to foreign nationals.
“This case is not about the regulation of U.S. persons who wish to utilize a 3D printer to manufacture their own small-caliber firearms,” DOJ said in the brief. “Rather, this case concerns the Department of State’s delegated authority to control the export of defense articles and services, or technical data related thereto, that raise military or intelligence concerns. The Department is tasked with determining what technology and weaponry provides a critical military or intelligence advantage such that it should not be shipped without restriction from the United States to other countries (or otherwise provided to foreigners), where, beyond the reach of U.S. law, it could be used to threaten U.S. national security, foreign policy, or international peace and stability. Domestic activities that do not involve providing access to foreign persons, by contrast, are left to other federal agencies—and the states—to regulate.”
In 2013, the State Department sent a letter to Cody Wilson claiming his publishing of designs for a single-shot 3D-printed firearm known as The Liberator and other firearms or firearms accessories without first obtaining approval from them could be considered an unauthorized export of firearms to foreign nationals that might result in potentially unlimited fines and jail time. Wilson took all gun-related design files down from his website as a result—though the files have remained freely available on dozens of other websites since then. He then joined with the Second Amendment Foundation to sue the State Department claiming it was infringing upon his First Amendment and Second Amendment rights.
The superior courts will have to settle this dispute.