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Cody Wilson Takes Gun Plans Offline After Judge Issues Restraining Order

But thanks to the internet, it may not matter.

Cody WilsonMark McDanielThe internet is defying a federal judge's attempt to block Defense Distributed from publishing instructions showing how to create 3D-printable firearms.

A few hours after U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, a Clinton appointee, muzzled Defense Distributed with a court order Tuesday evening, the CodeIsFreeSpeech.com mirror site appeared. It's a project of the Calguns Foundation, the Firearms Policy Coalition, and other civil rights groups, and includes freely downloadable computer-aided design (CAD) files for the AR-15, AR-10, Ruger 10-22, Beretta 92FS, and other firearms.

Soon after the court order, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson announced that his site, DEFCAD.com, was "going dark." The files his company was hosting there have been replaced with a notice saying they have been removed as a result of Lasnik's ruling.

But the court order does not apply to the advocacy groups behind CodeIsFreeSpeech. They were not named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by the Washington state attorney general. Therefore, they don't need to comply with the ruling.

"We, and many others around the country, completely support Cody and Defense Distributed," Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, tells Reason. "Some governments and elected officials might want to censor this speech because they prefer a police state. We don't. I don't really give a damn what they'd prefer."

Lasnik wrote in today's opinion that Washington state has "a clear and reasonable fear that the proliferation of untraceable, undetectable weapons will enable convicted felons, domestic abusers, the mentally ill, and others who should not have access to firearms to acquire and use them." The judge predicted that there would be a "proliferation of these firearms" if he did not grant the state's emergency motion to censor the files from Defense Distributed's website.

Absent from Lasnik's 7-page ruling is any consideration of the First Amendment implications of censoring information about building firearms. This has been legal since before the United States was founded; Reason's special Burn After Reading issue even includes helpful instructions for constructing a handgun from legally available parts.

Crucially, also absent from the opinion is any recognition of the difficulty of censoring information once it's already been published to the web.

DEFCAD.com's files are not only being mirrored at CodeIsFreeSpeech—they or something like them are also available on innumerable other sites. Directions for the AR-10 lower receiver chambered for .308 caliber ammunition (the "lower receiver" part of the weapon is what the government defines as a firearm) are posted on GrabCad.com. Plans for the famous Liberator, a printable single-shot handgun, are available on Github. TheTruthAboutGuns.com is linking to a Dropbox archive of the Defense Distributed files.

And there's a handy Github code repository that lets you mirror the FOSSCAD data archive, which includes the files for scores of firearms, using only four commands. An extra three lines of typing are necessary if you'd like your mirror site to update itself automatically.

Federal judges are supposed to issue injunctions only if there's "immediate and irreparable" harm that the order can prevent from happening. In this case, the CAD files have already proliferated online; Washington state is at least a few years too late. Even NPR acknowledges this.

Look for Defense Distributed's attorneys to argue that this is yet another reason the temporary restraining order should be dissolved. A hearing is scheduled for August 10 in Seattle.

As Reason's Brian Doherty has chronicled, the Seattle lawsuit is one of a flurry of warning letters and legal challenges from anti-gun states aimed at forcing Defense Distributed not to publish its files. The company recently won the ability to publish after reaching a settlement with the Justice Department in its lawsuit claiming that restrictions on sharing firearm code violate the First Amendment—a clear echo of earlier litigation over encryption code nearly a generation ago.

It's possible that Defense Distributed may lose this legal skirmish and be prevented from returning its instructions to the DEFCAD site. But for anyone who wants to manufacture a firearm at home, the CAD files are readily available. The Second Amendment, it turns out, is protected by the First.

Photo Credit: Mark McDaniel

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  • loveconstitution1789||

    This judge is suspect for issuing an injunction on a claim that should be laughed out of court and has zero reasonale chance of being sccessful in The Supreme Court.

  • ImanAzol||

    It has no legal standing and can just be ignored. Wilson does not reside or operate in the Western WA Federal District.

    Your local judge can't give me any orders, either.

    I'm sad that Wilson's response was not a literal, "Go fuck yourself," and to post away.

  • Tall Tom||

    It does not matter as the guns are here...

    http://codeisfreespeech.com/

    Enjoy.

  • Carter Mitchell||

    See my above comment. There is only a login page with no way to register..

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I for one am not sick of winning!

  • Cory Crockett||

    Nor am I. Maybe, if we stick Congress with libertarians authentic-progress will be attainable.

  • Cory Crockett||

    Nor am I. Maybe, if we stock Congress with libertarians authentic-progress will be attainable

  • Carter Mitchell||

    Putting libertarians in Congress is less likely than me winning the Powerball jackpot. Never underestimate the power of human stupidity.

  • ImanAzol||

    Yet Trump endorses gun control. As anyone with a brain warned the rest of you.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    #1stAmendment

  • Tall Tom||

  • loveconstitution1789||

    #2ndAmendment

  • NYC2AZ||

    "Can't stop the signal, Mal."

  • ImanAzol||

    Has a liberal judged ruled it illegal?

  • DajjaI||

    If they want to do something about random violence, they need to ban autism 'treatment' (which is basically just mass shooter training) and they need to end these gun control rallies (which are really just witch hunts against autistic kids). Also, round up the homeschool kids and bring them to school with you. Then you don't have to worry about home printed guns.

  • Dan S.||

    Let's assume, for the sake of argument, that autism treatment does consist largely of what you have described in the past - learning "tricks" to get by and appear more "normal". Who do you think would be more likely to become a mass shooter, someone who knows those tricks and and is able to get by in society, or someone who doesn't, and becomes more and more frustrated by his inability to?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    I'd be more worried about the psychiatric drugs than talking therapy. The correlation between being a mass shooter and being on those drugs is very high. Which is not to say that being on them makes you likely to go out and shoot people, mass shooters are pretty rare. But practically nobody does who isn't on them.

    Personally, I'm fairly high up there on "the spectrum", and I could have used some useful pointers on how to pass as normal; I might have had my first date before I was 40! Takes a long while to figure out those tricks on your own.

  • TxJack 112||

    Sorry but the so called correlation between psychotropic drugs and violence is bogus. The real question we need to be asking ourselves is what have we done to so change our society that our boys think the only way to express their frustration, anger and other feelings is by committing mass homicide. Look at when mass shootings in schools began. They all began when the entire leftist movement had taken over schools and been in control for a generation. In the late 70s and 80s, when two boys had a disagreement, they would have a fist fight until a teacher stepped in and broke it up, The teacher would force them to shake hands and that was it. Now if a kid gets into a fight, he is arrested and then forced into counseling to "deal with anger issues". In addition, the entire "everyone gets a trophy crap" is another reason for frustration. Middle school and high school is when kids begin to sort out who they are and form clicks. Unfortunately, it is also when the reality that life is not fair and there are winners and losers becomes crystal clear. The problem is progressive academia.

  • Tionico||

    the homeschool kids I know would probably build the metal printer, write the code, draft the thing, then start printing them. Then after they've got a bucket full or three, they'd find a place and start having shooting contests to see who can design/built the most accurate, or long lasting, or hardest hitting.

    I don't worry about home printed guns... they are a whole lot safer than the ones stolen from the last gun shop breakin and sold out of the trunk of a hydroHonda in the WalMart car park.

  • TxJack 112||

    The depth of your stupidity is truly amazing. So you are going to blame children with autism for mass shootings? Wow talk about scapegoating.

  • Carter Mitchell||

    If they want to do something about violence, they need to ban politicians (which are basically just sanctioned thieves and murderers).

    Out.

  • Carter Mitchell||

    If they want to do something about violence, they need to ban politicians (which are basically just sanctioned thieves and murderers).

    Out.

  • Hackmaschine Mutter||

    Mr. Universe! Where have you been??

  • Derpmaster General||

    The judge should be censured and removed for this sort of shit.

    I'll take things that'll never happen for 600 please, Alex.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Judges dont typically issue injunctions if there is zero chance of success of prevailing.

    All but the worst gun control judges would clearly see that this is a 1A and 2A protection issue.

  • Tionico||

    being a Slick Willie appointee in Seattle, he qualifies for both of your lists. Dirtbag. Of course, he's got ol' Fergui pushing him, and Jay the Maggotnificent pulling strings. The State of Washington have turned quite the nasty corner in the past handful of years.

  • General_Tso||

    Watching local news out of Providence, RI last night, and all the usual suspects (D) were abuzz over this.

    They spoke to a state rep and a congress critter. One obviously had no idea what she was talking about, regarding the technology, but both were awash with 'common-sense gun control' and 'mass shootings' and 'no place in our state...blah, blah, blah'

  • loveconstitution1789||

    The Lefty narrative was not properly organized, explained, or disseminated.

    You provided an example of what happens.

  • FreeRadical||

    Perhaps this is a good thing. The judge's ruling is a hanging curveball that will be crushed out of the park. And hopefully the crushing will include a humiliating dressing down of the judge.

    Perhaps my expectations are too high. But still, a ruling against this is helpful.

  • DesigNate||

    These idiots know that most people don't have access to a 3d printer yet right?

  • FreeRadical||

    True, but they're routinely available and prices are coming down. They are still relatively expensive, like any hobbiest or boutique equipment.

    A young friend of mine had one and he printed some delicate and beautiful objects out of metal and plastic. (I can't remember if one printer did both materials)

  • Semper Liber||

    https://www.desktopmetal.com/products/studio/ This looks interesting, the future looks bright.

  • perlchpr||

    And these idiots apparently don't know that most people have access to Home Depot.

  • ||

    Don't these people know how the internet works?

    The files only had to be available for a few seconds so someone could download them. Then email them overseas where they could be hosted on a server outside US jurisdiction.

    The movie and music industry have been fighting piracy for over 2 decades, yet the Pirate Bay still exists and has almost any kind of music, movie or software you could want. All for the taking.

  • Ron||

    did my part and downloaded. I saw some politician out of Washington showing a couple of scary AR's and crying about ghost guns, I think it was on black guns Matter page, any way it Bs because its always been legal to build your own gun and if need be a pipe will do

  • Cory Crockett||

    The spineless-pussy. Civil-disobedience (on the part of the like-minded public) should persist until this Constitutionally-ignorant back of a judge folds. In my opinion that is the o not way (in this case) to insure Constitutional-progress).

  • Cory Crockett||

    The spineless-pussy. Civil-disobedience (on the part of the like-minded public) should persist until this Constitutionally-ignorant hack of a judge folds. In my opinion that is the o not way (in this case) to insure Constitutional-progress).

  • Cory Crockett||

    I'm pretty geeked-up @ the moment.

  • Cory Crockett||

    he spineless-pussy. Civil-disobedience (on the part of the like-minded public) should persist until this Constitutionally-ignorant hack of a judge folds. In my opinion that is the o not way (in this case) to insure Constitutional-progress).

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    Anarchist Cookbook

    Improvised Munitions Handbook

    Guerrila Warfare Handbook

    Just a small sampling of books available from Amazon, thanks to the 1st Amendment. But don't you dare looks at plans for creating a gun with a 3D printer.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    "Still" available. They'll take them down sooner or later.

  • Tom Dial||

    The only way "tThey'll take them down sooner or later" with even a remote possibility of success is implementing a great firewall similar to China's capable of screening all internal and external internet traffic and blocking whatever "they" do not like. "They" will have to establish total and effective control over use of commercial and noncommercial virtual private networks, and shut down all access to Tor. Moreover, "they" also will have to find a way to locate and shut down the US based part of mesh networks that extend across the border to Canada, Mexico, or Russia. And "they" will have to establish control and monitoring of modems (some of us still have them) that operate on the switched telephone network. There are not enough network police to do even a small fraction of a percent of what is required, nor the required equipment.

    This cat has been out of the bag for over 5 years and will not be put back even by totalitarian methods George Orwell never imagined. By now there certainly are numerous foreign based sites where the files at issue and more are available, in addition to those listed in the article.

  • μ Aggressor||

    It's a ridiculous suit and 100% political grandstanding but like FreeRadical says above when it's inevitably dismissed it'll be an even stronger rebuke than the settlement before it

  • ImanAzol||

    It should inevitably be ignored as it has no legal bearing on someone not located in that district. Much as if CA complained about my local laws in the mid south.

  • croaker||

    Bill of Impeachment against U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik in 3...2...1...

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    His district is under the 9th circuit. Not likely.

  • Tony||

    So a friend wanted to know where all the people with tiny penises hang out, and it looks like I found it!

  • Don't look at me.||

    Where?

  • ||

    Fuck you tony,we want guns,not to shoot your faggot ass but to defend ourselves. Go eat a dick you lefty twat. My gun rights are not interfering with you. You right end where someone else rights begin. How come guns are an infringement of your right?

  • Tony||

    Because your right to purchase a gun is the same as a psychopath's right to purchase one for which he intends to shoot up a school with. Public safety, man. Guardrails on a bridge.

    There's a concept in nature known as an arm's race. Cops and bad guys keep getting more powerful guns. When does it end? What's wrong with a society in which the worst weapons are knives and sticks? It's a difference of tens of thousands of deaths every year.

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    Tony, they even said in the article that NPR agreed there isn't much you're protecting here. The cat, it's out of the bag. I'm sure you talk endlessly about how awesome NPR is compared to all other sources of media, especially the radio. Why do you question then here?

  • Tony||

    So make the penalty for possessing an unregistered plastic weapon so severe that almost no one will want to bother. Maybe the psychos with intent will always be able to find a gun. But lots of Americans die by suicide and accidental and not-so-accidental shootings who may be spared by minimizing the incentive.

  • rudehost||

    More severe than for murder? Because life in prison and the death penalty don't seem to have much of a deterrent effect do they? Or is everything your sociology professor taught you wrong?

  • Tony||

    The point is that guns escalate a tense situation, whether suicide or interpersonal conflict, to one in which it's very easy for a person to end up dead. Not so with other weapons. Let's deal with obvious reality if we're to have a discussion, shall we?

  • Tionico||

    the same as a psychopath's right to purchase one for which he intends to shoot up a school with
    Liar. That's two felonies right there, and if the one selling even suspects this guy is "off" HE pulls another felony.
    Youi've proven again you are clueless.

    Go find your binkie and get back in the basement. Curfew just fell.....

  • Tony||

    So what you're saying is that this country doesn't have a problem with psychos doing mass shootings.

  • ImanAzol||

    The order is bullshit and can be ignored. Wilson is not located in the "judge's" district. He should literally respond, "Go fuck yourself," and post away.

    The liberals have created the myth that a federal judge has credibility or jurisdiction nationwide.

    The end result of kowtowing to these fascists is for every "liberal" shithole suburb to have their village attorneys issue restraining orders.

    Ignore Lostdick. There is nothing he can do.

  • Leslie the Bard||

    Has nobody stopped to consider that a *plastic* gun can fire one, maybe two, shots before either melting to uselessness or blowing up in the shooter's hand? In order to work more than once, a gun must be made of metal. In any case, the *bullets* would be made of metal, which would be clearly detectable in any airport scan. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A WORKING UNDETECTABLE GUN!!!

    As for 3D metal-printing, that requires a large and expensive laser-sintering machine, which wouldn't fit in anybody's garage or basement. Making a workable 3D printed gun would be much more time-consuming and expensive -- and would produce a poorer product -- than simply milling a gun out of common metal plates and bar-stock in a conventional machine-shop. There are underground illegal gun-shops all over the world today (I hear it's a common cottage-industry in India), and virtually none of them use 3D printers. These Liberal judges are getting their shorts in a twist, and shamelessly attacking the 1st Amendment, over what is really just a red herring.

    All that the 3D printing brouhaha is good for is exposing the anti-constitutionals in our midst.

  • TxJack 112||

    Exactly. A 3D printer than can made metal objects accurately and reliably cost about $500K. You can already build a ghost gun using an 80% lower, milling jig, a drill press for about $300. The other parts to assemble the gun cost about $400-500 depending on what you want.

  • Robert Crim||

    "Congress shall pass no law..." clearly would include JURISDICTIONAL laws, so my question to Judge Lasnik is: What part of "no" do you not understand?

    I stress: Questions of jurisdiction MUST be raised by the court INDEPENDENT from the claims of any, or even all of the parties. A federal court cannot obtain jurisdiction over a case by consent of the parties. Since Judge Lasnik has no jurisdiction to issue his order, no one really is required to pay any attention to him.

    That certainly applies to anyone NOT named "Cody Wilson."

  • Tionico||

    it also applies to Cody Wilson.. he is not located in this judge's sandbox, thus this "judge" has no say so over Mr. Wilson. And should know this. He DID swear an oath to uphold and abide by the US COnstition and that of the State of Washington. And WA Constitution has some language regarding the right to arms that is quite a bit stronger and far less ambiguous than the US Constitution.. it was written some eighty years later.

    This "judge" needs to have charges for felony perjury laid upon him..... then disbarred and debenched.

    Oh and take that wretch of an AtG Ferguson along with him. They're quite the pair...... add in the nasty judge Robart, and we've a menage a trois that would be a winner in the nasty department.

  • Tony||

    Oh god I could hear your penis growing as you typed. It's up to single digits!

  • Pat001||

    God dreams of someday becoming a federal judge.

  • Carter Mitchell||

    As of 8/2 @ 6:48a.m. CST, the codelsfreespeech.com URL redirects to a Paralles H-Sphere page. Anyone know what's going on now? More censorship?

  • Tim McClure||

    Great! An excuse for guns and ammo prices to be jacked up again.

  • Marilyn6||

  • TxJack 112||

    The stupidity of this fight is Cody Wilson is providing the plans, that is all. He is not providing the guns. The current law says it is illegal to possess a gun made entirely of plastic. So, the violator would be the person who uses the plans to make the gun, not the person providing the plans. Providing the plans is no different than purchasing a copy of the "Anarchist's Cookbook" popular back in the 70s and 80s? There were recipes for TNT, napalm and other weapons as well an hallucinogens made from morning glory seeds, rose hips, etc. No one in the government lost their minds about the book being published because it was not a crime to read the book. It was only a crime to make the items from the recipes provided. However, like plastic guns, making the items could kill you The simple truth is today, the government is attempting to control more and more of our lives by restricting and/or outlawing our freedoms. Welcome to the modern police state.

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