CHICAGO (CBS) — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and 20 other attorneys general from across the U.S. have signed a letter to the Justice Department, asking the Trump administration to block blueprints for untraceable 3-D printed homemade guns from being posted online.
Their efforts might be too late.
The Texas company that planned to start publishing the blueprints on Wednesday already posted the plans on its website, and more than 1,000 people have downloaded the blueprints for 3-D plastic guns, including AR-15 style assault riles.
Nicknamed “ghost guns,” the weapons can be made by anyone with a 3-D printer, and do not have serial numbers, making them untraceable. The guns also would not require any background check to create, making it easier for anyone legally barred from owning a firearm to get a gun.
In California last year, Kevin Janson Neal used a homemade metal assault rifle to kill his wife and four others, avoiding a court order meant to block his access to a firearm.
“When it comes to something as basic as public safety, our State Department’s saying, hey, this is a giveaway for terrorists,” said Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson.
He is one of nine attorneys general taking part in a lawsuit against the Trump administration, seeking to stop Cody Wilson’s Texas-based Defense Distributed company from publishing the gun blueprints on Wednesday.
In addition, Ferguson, Madigan and 19 other state attorneys general have written a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, criticizing a settlement with Defense Distributed, allowing them to release plans for guns online.
But Defense Distributed began distributing the gun files earlier than planned, and by Sunday 1,000 people had already downloaded blueprints for an AR-15 style weapon.
In a new countersuit, Wilson’s legal team argues his company is simply defending the right to bear arms. States have a little more than 24 hours to file their lawsuits and win a temporary judgment before the blueprints go online.
The company has agreed to block Pennsylvania users from accessing the 3-D gun blueprints, after that state’s attorney general asked a federal court to block the site.