State officials are asking the Trump administration to order the takedown of 3D-printed gun files that are being sold on the Defense Distributed’s Defcad site.
The officials are urging the Justice Department and State Department to take action against the platform as per the rules against exporting weapons and making undetectable firearms.
According to the letter sent by the group of state attorney generals to the Trump Administration, Defcad is violating the export control regulations and the Undetectable Firearms Act.
The act prohibits the manufacturing, owning, and selling of guns that are not detected by metal detectors and some state officials think that they can stretch the definition to include 3D-printed gun files under this definition.
“If the federal government fails to act, these files will be distributed widely with potentially grave consequences for our national and domestic security. The efficacy of our country’s existing metal detectors—a ubiquitous security device in our airports, schools, arenas, and public venues—will be compromised if you do not act,” the letter reads.
The letter suggests that if the federal government will not act on this request the 3D-printed files, if downloaded by unscrupulous individuals, will potentially threaten national and domestic security.
This is not the first time that Defcad has had to ward off censors. During the Obama administration, it was established that publishing printable weapon files is a violation of the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Defense Distributed launched Defcad in March.
The pursuit to censor the publication of these designs is a precedent that is likely to be dangerous to speech in the long term.
It would allow government to use regulations to censor speech on the internet and would give broad censorship powers that could lead to further speech being taken down for political reasons.