Having won a free speech rights settlement against the U.S. government, Cody Wilson will be permitted to post online code for 3-D printing of a "ghost gun — an untraceable, unregistered firearm without a serial number," The New York Times reported.
Wilson's Defense Distributed will repost online 3-D print code Aug. 1, noting that "the age of the downloadable gun formally begins," his website boasts, the Times reported, which reviewed Wilson's settlement documents this week.
"I can see how it would attract more people and maybe lessen the tactic of having to hide your identity," Wilson told the Times. “It's not a huge space right now, but I do know that it's only going to accelerate things."
The instructions for 3-D printers include a variety of arms, including AR-15-style rifles, the Times reported.
"Not only is this a First Amendment victory for free speech, it also is a devastating blow to the gun prohibition lobby," Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan M. Gottlieb told the Times.
Critics argue felons and domestic abusers might obtain access to guns they could not get after failed background checks.
"The current laws are already difficult to enforce — they're historically not especially powerful, and they're riddled with loopholes — and this will just make those laws easier to evade," UCLA law professor Adam Winkler told the Times. "It not only allows this tech to flourish out of the underground but gives it legal sanction."
The settlement with Defense Distributed has raised eyebrows because it had come on the heels of a number of settlements in favor of the U.S. government.
Chief legal counsel for Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence J. Adam Skaggs told the Times, the Trump administration "capitulated in a case it had won at every step of the way."
"This isn't a case where the underlying facts of the law changed," Skaggs told the Times. "The only thing that changed was the administration."
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