The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

Lawsuit Challenging New Jersey Ban on Distributing "Digital Instructions" for 3D Printing of Guns

An interesting motion for a temporary restraining order, arguing based on the First Amendment, the dormant Commerce Clause, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and more.


A new New Jersey statute (enacted by SB2465) bans

distribut[ing] by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey who is not registered or licensed as a [gun] manufacturer …, digital instructions in the form of computer-aided design files or other code or instructions stored and displayed in electronic format as a digital model that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer to manufacture or produce a firearm, firearm receiver, magazine, or firearm component.

Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation, represented by Chad Flores (Beck Redden LLP), Matthew Goldstein (Farhang & Medcoff), and Prof. Josh Blackman (South Texas College of Law), have just filed a motion for a temporary restraining order seeking to block enforcement of the law. I'm slammed and can't analyze this in detail now, but I thought I'd pass it along. (I blogged a bit about the general First Amendment issue here, but there are also Commerce Clause, 47 U.S.C. § 230, and other claims in this case as well.)