Virginia's Efforts to Stop the Release of 3D-Printed Gun Blueprints

Aug 28, 2018

Cody Wilson, with Defense Distributed, holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, in Austin, Texas. A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns.
Credit AP Photo / Eric Gay

Virginia is one of more than a dozen states working to prevent schematics for 3D printed guns from being posted online.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring says the Trump administration’s plan to make 3D-printed guns widely available is “one of the most dangerous ideas” he’s ever heard. That’s why he’s joined a lawsuit from 19 states and the District of Columbia to block a Texas company from posting the schematics online.

Gene Rossi is a former federal prosecutor.

“The second amendment is a very precious amendment, just like all the other amendments in the Constitution. But they aren’t unlimited, and when the public safety concerns outweigh the constitutional right, you have to always go with the public safety.”

Legal expert Rich Kelsey says Herring’s involvement in the Seattle lawsuit is part of a larger conversation about the meaning of the Second Amendment.

“Those who believe that the Second Amendment never was intended to give the people individually a right will do whatever it takes to try to stop them from having access to guns. And this is part of that effort.”

One thing both sides agree on, that this case is probably headed to the United States Supreme Court for a decision that could have drastic consequences for the First Amendment and the Second Amendment.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.