The Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed took the necessary action of filing a federal lawsuit on Sunday against the New JerseyAttorney General and Los Angeles City Attorney, accusing them of “unconstitutional prior restraint” by attempting to prevent online sharing of 3-D firearms printing technology despite a Justice Department settlement of a lawsuit several days ago.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin. Both New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and L.A. City Attorney Michael Feuer sent letters threatening legal actions that the plaintiffs allege violate their First Amendment speech rights, according to court documents. A settlement between Defense Distributed and the U.S. Justice Department ending a lengthy legal action allows the Texas-based firm to post its 3-D printing information online, as of Aug. 1.
“What Grewal and Feuer are attempting is an unconstitutional exercise of prior restraint,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “They are trying to prevent Defense Distributed and its founder, Cody Wilson, from exercising free speech under color of law.”
“We have the right to publish this information,” added Wilson, “and now the New Jersey Attorney General and Los Angeles city attorney can pay for it.”
Wilson and SAF had been engaged in a lawsuit against the government for preventing the online publication of the 3-D technology. With the settlement announcement earlier this month, Wilson was preparing to resume the online availability of the information, but Grewal and Feuer both advised by letter that they would take action. Feuer also tweeted threats of legal action, the complaint notes.
“This is quickly turning into a classic First Amendment case,” Gottlieb observed. “People publish all sorts of information online, but because this case involves technical information on production of firearm components on a 3-D printer, these anti-rights officials are trying to squelch it. We cannot allow this to happen.
“You cannot exercise the right to keep and bear arms without being able to buy or make your own firearm,” he said.