At least eight states are rushing to sue the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish blueprints for untraceable 3D-printed homemade guns. But it may already be too late.
Five years ago, Cody Wilson launched what he now calls "the era of the downloadable gun," a time when anyone can use a 3D printer to make a working firearm.
Now that era is set to begin at midnight Wednesday. Wilson’s company Defense Distributed plans to publish digital blueprints for people to make their own firearms, including AR-15 style assault rifles. The 3D plastic weapons would be untraceable and require no background check.
In California last year, Kevin Janson Neal used a homemade metal assault rifle to kill his wife and four others, avoiding a court order meant to block his access to a firearm.
"When it comes to something as basic as public safety, our State Department’s saying, hey, this is a giveaway for terrorists," said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
He is one of eight state attorneys general planning to sue the Trump administration, hoping to stop Wilson’s company from publishing the gun blueprints on Wednesday.
In addition, more than 20 state attorneys general have asked to intervene in the name of "public safety and national security."
But Defense Distributed began distributing the gun files earlier and by Sunday 1,000 people had already downloaded blueprints for an AR-15 style weapon.
In a new countersuit, Wilson’s legal team argues his company is simply defending the right to bear arms. States have a little more than 24 hours to file their lawsuits and win a temporary judgment before the blueprints go online.