3D gun plans temporarily banned in Pennsylvania - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

3D gun plans temporarily banned in Pennsylvania

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If you live in Pennsylvania, you can't legally download a 3D blueprint for a gun.

After an emergency hearing in a Pennsylvania federal courtroom, Texas-based Defense Distributed agreed to block users in Pennsylvania from accessing and downloading 3D gun plans.

It also said it would not upload new files – for now.

This temporary agreement comes after the U.S. State Department settled a lawsuit against the company to allow those gun plans to be put online.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that "...untraceable guns in the hands of unknown owners is too daunting to stand by and not take action."

Officials say they're concerned people could use the software to get around background checks, and the guns couldn't be tracked.

21 News reached out to Defense Distributed, which said, "All Americans and Pennsylvania residents have the constitutional right to possess information related to making firearms."

When it comes to enforcing the ban, there are plenty of questions.

Chief among them, what would stop someone in Ohio or a neighboring state from downloading a gun plan and passing it on to someone in Pennsylvania?

Legal experts seem to agree that the short answer would be nothing.

The state could install software to map I.P. addresses, but probably only in theory.

"It would be both difficult and expensive," said 21 News Legal Analyst Matt Mangino. "Ultimately I think what the state is going to do is see where this lawsuit leads."

And while some argue that this is both a first and second amendment issue, legal experts say there are limitations on those rights in the interest of public safety.

"If you were to build your own car, you'd still have to get a license plate," said Mangino. "In Pennsylvania, you'd still have to get it inspected, so there are regulations that apply."

The Ohio Attorney General's Office said Ohioans can print 3D guns for individual use, and that the state does not have any regulations on residents building their own weapons.

When it comes to the companies, which could make a 3D printed gun, there's a lot of gray areas, too.

Brett Conner with Freshmade 3D says most 3D printing materials and processes couldn't stand the pressures of firearms applications, posing a serious safety hazard.

Conner also says there are many legal and liability issues, including the manufacture and sale of a gun to someone who isn't a U.S. citizen.

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