Texas Firm Behind Printable 3-D Gun Plans Backs Down for Now, Official Says

(Bloomberg) -- A small Texas nonprofit company agreed not to publish new instructions on the internet for making downloadable guns with 3-D printers until at least September after New Jersey sued to block the plan, the state’s attorney general said, though several designs are already online.

Austin-based Defense Distributed, run by Cody Wilson, shelved its plan to publish additional firearm designs, according to a tweet Tuesday by New Jersey’s top cop, Gurbir Grewal. The state sued Monday in Superior Court in Essex County, seeking a temporary restraining order against the company.

"After NJ takes him to court, Wilson agrees not to post any new dangerous 3D printable guns until our September hearing," Grewal said on Twitter. "Court orders him to keep his word. The fight for public safety continues."

Wilson’s lawyer, Josh Blackman, disputed Grewal’s claim. He said Defense Distributed already published its latest firearm-design files on July 27, several days ahead of Wilson’s originally planned target of Aug. 1. The firm’s website says Aug. 1 is when the "age of the downloadable gun formally begins." Blackman said the site hasn’t been updated.

"Cody uploaded 10 files on Friday. He has no plans to upload any more," Blackman said in an email. "The New Jersey order changed nothing."

Blackman also appeared to dispute whether Wilson’s published computer-aided design, or CAD files, can be used by 3-D printers.

"CAD files are design files," he said. "They can be studied and analyzed, but not printed."

He added that Wilson’s designs will be blocked, for now, in New Jersey and Pennsylvania under a voluntary agreement.

A group of Democratic attorneys general from eight states and the District of Columbia filed a separate lawsuit in federal court in Seattle on Monday, accusing President Donald Trump’s administration of violating federal law by reaching a settlement with Defense Distributed to resolve a lawsuit and allow the company’s plan to move forward. Trump on Tuesday said guns made with 3-D printers don’t "make much sense."

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