Minnesota AG joins the fight against 3D printed firearms

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson intends to join the fight against the release of blueprints to create 3D printed guns.

The blueprints for 3D printed guns were released Wednesday, but a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against their release.

Swanson said she still intends to file a suit this week because the federal judge’s order is limited in scope.

Swanson will join the almost two dozen attorneys general across the country concerned that 3D printed guns could fall into the wrong hands.

“Be used by terrorists, be used by criminals, be used by people who don’t follow the various laws we have in place for background checks,” said Swanson. “And so we want to stop these blueprints from being put on the internet.”

Pro-gun group Defense Distributed planned to re-publish a blueprint for downloadable guns on the internet Wednesday. Founder Cody Wilson first posted the blueprints online five years ago before federal officials blocked the site.

Under the terms of a settlement reached earlier this month, the government is now allowing Wilson to post the 3D gun blueprints online. A federal judge in the state of Washington blocked the release, but only temporarily.

“Once they’re publicized, they can just go off into the air and they can be taken by anybody and everybody, so we want to stop it before that happens,” said Swanson.

Others, however, are skeptical this fight is needed.

“These plans have been around for years. The genie is kind of out of the bottle, as it was,” said Rob Doar, the political director with the Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus.

Doar says laws on the books regarding untraceable weapons should apply to these weapons as well.

“As a public safety risk, these guns that are being manufactured are made incredibly cheaply,” he said. “They’re not very durable. Our research, track them down being used in a crime, despite them being available for numerous years now.”

Swanson says she intends to file that suit by the end of the week. Swanson is running for the DFL nomination for Governor. Fox 9 reached out to her opponents’ campaigns for their thoughts on this issue.

Rep. Tim Walz (D-Mankato) offered his statement: 

3D-printable guns are undetectable by metal detectors, untraceable by law enforcement, and require no background check. Now after a Trump Administration decision, anyone could be able to download blueprints to make them. Minnesota must step in where the federal government falls miserably short. We cannot permit this irrational and unsafe policy to go unchallenged, and as governor, I would fight to protect Minnesotans from these kind of reckless decisions coming from the White House. 

Rep. Erin Murphy also announced her support for a ban on the production and possession of 3D printed guns and other untraceable firearms. She has a press conference planned for Thursday to address the issue.