TRENTON (CBS/AP) — New Jersey’s attorney general wants a gun developer to halt plans to publish 3D-printed gun instructions online. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal sent a “cease and desist” letter to Texas-based firearm developer Defense Distributed on Thursday to stop the release.
Grewal calls it a threat to public safety.
“You are directed to cease and desist from publishing printable-gun computer files for use by New Jersey residents,” Grewal said in the letter. “The files you plan to publish offer individuals, including criminals, codes that they can use to create untraceable firearms – and even to make assault weapons that are illegal in my state.”
The State Department ruled in late June that directions for building the weapons could be published. The decision resolved a long-lingering dispute with Cody Wilson, owner of Defense Distributed. The company specializes in “open source” firearm designs that can be made with a 3D printer.
“Defense Distributed’s plans to allow anyone with a 3-D printer to download a code and create a fully operational gun directly threatens the public safety of New Jersey’s residents,” said Grewal. “Posting this material online is no different than driving to New Jersey and handing out hard-copy files on any street corner. The federal government is no longer willing to stop Defense Distributed from publishing this dangerous code, and so New Jersey must step up.”
The firearms are made of polymer that can’t be flagged by metal detectors. They’re also untraceable because the guns are homemade and don’t have serial numbers.
On Thursday, gun-control groups asked a federal court for a temporary injunction to block the State Department decision from taking effect.