Following the settlement, publishing information about firearms, such as 3D printable CAD files, can now be freely published.
Back in 2013, Cody Wilson, a 30-year-old gun-rights activist, uploaded 3D printable CAD files that could be used to create a functional plastic firearm known as the “Liberator” to the internet. Shortly after uploading the files, however, the Obama-era United States (US) Department of State contacted him and ordered him to pull down the files on the grounds that he was supposedly “violating an export rule on distributing secret military hardware.”
Concerned by their demand, Wilson promptly removed the files, which had already been downloaded more than 10,00 times, from the internet. After doing so, however, he then reached out to a couple of lawyers and filed a lawsuit against the State Department for violating both the First Amendment, which is a constitutional amendment protecting speech, and the Second Amendment, which is a constitutional amendment protecting the rights of gun owners.
Incredibly, after reviewing this little-known case that the administration of former President Barack Obama was using to stop both the First and Second Amendments, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), which is now under the leadership of President Donald Trump, ended up siding with Wilson. As a result, the Trump DOJ has since decided to end their persecution case against the gun-rights activist. On top of that, they also agreed to change their current export rules on military firearms to allow for the “unfettered publication” of 3D gun files.
Specifically, it was recently revealed in court documents that the DOJ not only dropped their case against Wilson but also promised as part of a settlement agreement with him to change the “export control rules surrounding any firearm below .50 caliber—with a few exceptions like fully automatic weapons and rare gun designs that use caseless ammunition—and move their regulation to the Commerce Department, which won’t try to police technical data about the guns posted on the public internet.”
According to reports, the Trump DOJ’s decision, which basically allows Wilson and all others to now publish data about firearms pretty much anywhere they please, came after it became increasingly clear that preventing someone from publishing “code” about firearms is in blatant violation not only of the Second Amendment but also of the First Amendment because “code” is just a type of speech.
Unsurprisingly, Wilson was absolutely thrilled by the settlement, which basically granted him everything he wanted.
“I consider it a truly grand thing,” began the gun-rights activist while speaking to reporters about his legal victory.
“It will be an irrevocable part of political life that guns are downloadable and we helped to do that,” he continued.
“We’re doing the encyclopedic work of collecting this data and putting it into the commons,” added Wilson before noting, “what’s about to happen is a Cambrian explosion of the digital content related to firearms.”
To support this claim, he stated, “I currently have no national legal barriers to continue or expand DEFCAD. This legal victory is the formal beginning to the era of downloadable guns. Guns are as downloadable as music. There will be streaming services for semi-automatics.”
In a press release sent to other reporters, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF), which is a gun-rights organization that helped Wilson with his case, provided additional details about the settlement.
“The government has agreed to waive its prior restraint against the plaintiffs, allowing them to freely publish the 3-D files and other information at issue. The government has also agreed to pay a significant portion of the plaintiff’s’ attorney’s fees, and to return $10,000 in State Department registration dues paid by Defense Distributed as a result of the prior restraint,” they explained in their press release.
Alan Gottlieb, the founder and executive vice president of SAF, added, “not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby. For years, anti-gunners have contended that modern semi-automatic sport-utility rifles are so-called ‘weapons of war,’ and with this settlement, the government has acknowledged they are nothing of the sort.”
To clarify, Gottlieb stated, “under this settlement, the government will draft and pursue regulatory amendments that eliminate ITAR control over the technical information at the center of this case. They will transfer export jurisdiction to the Commerce Department, which does not impose ‘prior restraint’ on public speech. That will allow Defense Distributed and SAF to publish information about 3-D technology.”
Without a doubt, Wilson’s legal victory is absolutely amazing. This is due to the fact that he is basically making it easier for people to acquire firearms which people can then use to defend themselves and others from dangerous criminals.
Specifically, 44-year-old Tim O. Day allegedly entered a local Walmart several weeks ago and proceeded to fire his weapon several times while inside. After doing so, he then reportedly ran outside and tried to carjack someone who was in the parking lot.
The driver of the car, however, resisted so the Day shot him multiple times. He then rushed over to another individual and attempted a second carjacking.
Upon doing so, however, he was confronted by several armed bystanders who had rushed over with their guns drawn to stop the theft. After drawing near, one of the members of the citizen army decided to take action against Day and, quite heroically, shot him dead.
According to reports, the shooting occurred hours after police officers were called to the premise about a domestic dispute between the intruder, who has since been identified as 38-year-old Robert White, and his girlfriend. By the time the local law enforcement officials arrived, however, White had already left the area.
Hours later, though, he returned and broke into the home through a window. Alarmed by the noise, the girl’s father, who happened to be home at the time, grabbed his personal firearm and went to investigate further. Upon seeing the clearly dangerous intruder, the father decided to pull the trigger and shoot him.
He then called 911 and had paramedics rush White, who was in stable condition, to the hospital. When the local police learned what happened, they decided not to press any charges against he father since he was simply protecting himself and his family.
Clearly, the importance of gun ownership is utterly undeniable. Thankfully, in achieving his legal victory, the significance of which cannot be overstated, Wilson has not only made it easier for people to defend themselves and their loved ones but also essentially paved the way for the complete abolition of gun control.