Feds request removal from Internet of 3D handgun designs

The State Department prevailed on Defense Distributed, a Texas nonprofit, to remove from the Internet designs for a pistol. State said the act of distributing these designs online violated federal law restricting transfer and access of data for designated weapons. (Courthouse News Service, May 13, 2013, by David Lee)

The incident inspired a detailed blog for the Digital Media Law Project by Andrew F. Sellars, May 10, 2013 that examined the First Amendment issues raised by the government’s request. Among those are the roles of international trade law and undetectable arms, and whether the government can or should limit information on how to commit crimes. Sellars concludes that the issue of the Internet handgun is insignificant since it would cost thousands of dollars to build a gun off the Defense Distributed’s plans when a black market gun can be had for $25. ” I would urge the courts, the legislatures, and the public to ignore Defense Distributed’s handgun altogether. It distracts from the actual issues surrounding America’s profound problem with gun violence,” wrote Sellars.