Soon long after 3-D printing took off a tech designer, Designer Cody Wilson, figured out how to print gun parts in a way that could be used to create a fully functional weapon, and then posted the blueprints online for anyone to use. Officials at the US State Department were extremely, which prompted Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) department to promptly demand he remove the blueprints from the Internet. The agency's concern what that his blueprints had opened the doors ubequitus custom-printed weapons that exist outside the gun tracking registration and handling laws that vary from state to state.
But Wilson hasn't complied and is taking a stand. The 3-D printer designer is sueing the State Department over the request. "Wilson's gun manufacturing advocacy group Defense Distributed, along with the gun rights group known as the Second Amendment Foundation, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the State Department and several of its officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry" reports WIRED.
The lawsuit argues that "the DDTC violated their first amendment right to free speech by telling Defense Distributed that it couldn't publish a 3-D printable file for its one-shot plastic pistol known as the Liberator, along with a collection of other printable gun parts, on its website."
The DDTC's original 2013 letter claims that Defense Distributed violated gun export laws when it posted the blueprints online. However, Wilson and Defense Distributed are arguing that the situation is more complex than that. They're challenging the DDTC over whether the blueprints for the Liberator are actually a "weapon," whether the blueprints count as speech, and whether American's speech is protetcted online.
You can read Defense Distributed's complaint against the DDTC here.