US judge blocks release of 3D gun software

US judge blocks release of 3D gun software
A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed guns. The right to bear arms is a constitutional freedom in America. It is guaranteed under the Second Amendment (Amendment II)..

A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed guns. 

Background 

The right to bear arms is a constitutional freedom in America. It is guaranteed under the Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution. It was adopted in 1791. Gun organizations in the country are among the most politically powerful groups. American attitudes on gun ownership date back to the American Revolutionary War, and find an origin also in the hunting and sporting ethos, and the militia ethos that draw from the country's early history. 

Gun culture in the America encompasses the behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs about firearms and their usage by civilians.Firearms are widely used in the USA for self-defense, hunting, and recreational uses, such as target shooting. Gun politics in the US tends to be polarized between advocates of gun rights, often conservative, and those who support stricter gun control, often liberal. The gun culture of the US can be considered unique among developed countries in terms of the large number of firearms owned by civilians, generally permissive regulations, and high levels of gun violence. 

In 1986 the Firearm Owners Protection Act was passed by Congress. The law mainly enacted protections for gun owners — prohibiting a national registry of dealer records, limiting ATF inspections to once per year, softening what is defined as “engaging in the business” of selling firearms, and allowing licensed dealers to sell firearms at “gun shows” in their state. It also loosened regulations on the sale and transfer of ammunition. 

The US  is home to some of the deadliest mass shootings in history. It has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and nearly 16 times as many as Germany. It is home to 4.4% of the global population, however, nearly half of all civilian owned guns are in the US. 

Analysis 

A federal judge in Seattle has blocked the release of of software that allows consumers to 3D- print firearms. The judgement comes after eight democratic attorneys general filed a lawsuit seeking to block the federal government’s settlement with the company that makes the plans available online. They also sought a restraining order, arguing the 3D guns would be a safety risk.The US district judge Robert Lasnik issued the order Tuesday afternoon, saying: “There is a possibility of irreparable harm because of the way these guns can be made.”

The arguments began in 2013, when Mr Cody  Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, developed the world’s first 3D- printed gun. The downloadable files to replicate the firearms were made available of the Defense Distributed website. This led the US State Department to block them from the internet. There followed a four- year long legal battle. However, last month DD won the case, with the US Justice Department ruling that Americans may "access, discuss, use and reproduce" the technical data.The victory was hailed as the beginning of “the age of downloadable gun.”

 The lawsuit against the Trump administration was filed in Seattle, Washington, by the state's Attorney General Bob Ferguson.He called on President Trump to make it "unlawful for anyone to make this information available for anyone".The president had tweeted on Tuesday before the ruling that, “I am looking into 3D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!” 

The company’s website had said downloads would begin on Wednesday, but blueprints for at least one gun, a plastic pistol called the Liberator, have been posted on the site since Friday. A lawyer for the company said he didn’t know how many blueprints had been downloaded since then. The files enable people to  use the blueprints to manufacture plastic guns using a 3D printer. 

Both democrats and republicans have expressed concern over the 3D gun that is untraceable and undetectable. “Even as a strong supporter of the Second Amendment this is not right,” the Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski tweeted. Democrats  filed a separate bill to require that all guns have at least one non-removable component made of metal. This measure is intended to ensure that even guns primarily made of plastic can be discovered by metal detectors. 

Counterpoint

The group's founder Cody Wilson said that the 3D gun was not a threat to public safety."I haven't watched any crimes be committed with it," he said. 

Gun  industry experts have expressed doubts that criminals would go to the trouble, since the printers needed to make the guns can cost thousands of dollars. Moreover, these 3D guns fall apart easily compared to their traditional counterparts that can last for a long time. 

Assessment

Our assessment is that the 3D print plastic guns are functional weapons that are often undetectable by standard metal detectors as they are made out of materials other than metal,they are untraceable as they contain no serial number. We feel that this is the reason for the opposition of the new model by both the blocs on gun control.We believe that the while publishing a digital file online that allows a 3D printed to manufacture the gun, it should have strict background check of the consumer. We also believe that this is a new technology  and it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

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