Austinite can’t post gun blueprints online for free, so he’s selling them


AUSTIN (KXAN) — A federal judge banned Austinite Cody Wilson from posting online blueprints for a 3-D printed gun, so he’s selling them. He says his reading of a Seattle-based judge’s ruling allows him to sell at any price the blueprints by USB, email or secure transfer.

At a press conference at a hotel in Austin on Tuesday, Wilson told reporters he had nearly 400 requests by the time the press conference was over. 

“Everyone in America who wants these files will get them. They’re allowed to name their own price on our website. Making the money isn’t important to me,” said Wilson.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sought an injunction to stop a settlement that the federal government reached with Wilson’s Austin-based Defense Distributed. The states argued that online access to the undetectable plastic guns would pose a security risk and could be acquired by felons or terrorists. The settlement allows Wilson to re-publish the digital documents.

While the Seattle order by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik bans Wilson from posting free blueprints, the judge does allow him to email, mail or securely transfer the blueprints.

Judge Lasnik agreed Monday, saying the government’s actions “not only impact national security but have domestic repercussions as well.”

The State Department reached the deal with the company after the agency removed the 3-D gun-making plans from a list of weapons or technical data that are not allowed to be exported.

“I’m happy now to become the iTunes of downloadable guns if I can’t be the Napster,” said Wilson.

The Texan grabbed the attention of Congressman Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, who has filed a bill to make it illegal to print an untraceable gun.

“And that before anyone prints one out, they have to apply and get a number to go on there so that law enforcement will always be able to trace these weapons,” said Doggett.

The congressman hopes the Seattle judge will broaden his restraining order to include selling the blueprints.

“All we can do is minimize the damage,” Doggett said.

A machine to make a 3-D gun costs around $2,000. To make an AR-15 style rifle, Wilson says that would cost more than $10,000.

On the website for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, it does say someone can make a gun at home for personal use. However, a license is required to make guns to sell or distribute.

According to the ATF website, it is against the law for someone to make semiautomatic rifles or shotguns from 10 or more imported parts. It is also against the law to make guns that cannot be detected by metal detectors or x-ray machines.

This has been at least a five-year legal battle. In May 2013, the Department of Defense forced the company that distributed the plans to take them down. Wilson ended up suing in 2015. A settlement was reached in April, and the federal agency agreed to allow the release of the group’s instructions online.

Wilson’s legal fight is far from settled in courts across the country. 

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