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Locals debate effects of release of blueprints for 3D printed guns

Judge issues temporary restraining order ahead of Blueprints release


COLLEGE PARK, Fla. – Beginning at midnight Wednesday blueprints to make 3D guns were set to be available for anyone to download online, but Tuesday evening a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make untraceable and undetectable 3D-printed plastic guns, saying they could end up in the wrong hands.

The company behind the plans, Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allows it to make the plans for the guns available for download on Wednesday.

The restraining order from U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik puts that plan on hold for now.

However, because designs for the guns are already posted online, by Sunday more than 1,000 people had already downloaded plans to print an AR-15-style rifles, according to the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Several lawmakers have tried to stop the release of the blueprints, citing safety concerns.

President Trump tweeted that he has already spoken with the National Rifle Association about the downloadable directions a Texas company wants to provide for people to make 3D-printed guns.The guns are made of a hard plastic and are simple to assemble, easy to conceal and difficult to trace.

Congressional Democrats are urging the administration to reverse its decision to allow Defense Distributed to publish downloadable blueprints for the 3D guns. Eight states filed suit to block the decision, contending that the plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety.

Fernando Sosa runs nuPROTO 3D Printing & Prototyping in College Park, and admits over the years people has asked him to make gun parts.

"Before the whole controversy happened, a lot of people asked me to print parts," he said. "I usually turn them down because I don't want to be held liable." 

Safety aside, Sosa admitted it will be difficult, time consuming, and require high-end 3D printers for those trying to make 3D guns. 

"It would take you a couple months to print it right," he said.  

Doug Rehman, a firearms instructor and former special agent with FDLE, believes all the discussion about the blueprints is just hype.

"It doesn't change anything significant," he said. "It's just the next progression of science. The problem with a completely plastic gun is that it's got to be able to withstand in some pretty significant pressures of firing a cartridge." 

Rehman, the owner of Strategic Outfitting, showed News 6 several firearms which already consist of plastic parts, and explained how the 3D printing of guns will be a bigger problem if people start trying to print certain parts to put on existing guns. 

"If you use the wrong material, it could be extremely dangerous," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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