American 3D Printed Gunsmithing: Trump’s Gun Friendly Politics

Gunsmithing has been both a novel and traditional regime in US, before the advent of computer numeric machinery, gunsmithing required cutting, drilling and milling a metal blank to produce a receiver suitable for accommodating the hammer, grip and other parts, but now it is much easier because of uploaded blueprints of these designs, which could be downloaded and transformed into guns with 3D gun printers and the required plastic. However, the celebration of Gun rights could not persist for long, manufacturing of undetectable and untraceable guns with such cost effectiveness could hamper public interest at large, when the State Department ordered Wilson, the person who uploaded such blueprints on the internet websites, to remove the blueprints as it might have violated the international traffic on Arms Regulations, he sued the U.S. Department, Directorate of Defense State Control (DDTC), with Defense Distributed and Second Amendment Foundation as co-plaintiff in the case of Defense Distributed v. U.S. Department of State claiming an infringement of his First Amendment (prior restraint of speech), Second Amendment (denial of the rights of making firearms implicit in right to keep and bear firearms) and Fifth Amendment (denial of due process) rights. With respect to Second Amendment rights, the claimant argued that a right to possess firearms does mean a right implicit to manufacture and make them for self-defense. In response, the State Department acknowledged the ruling of the Supreme Court in cases of District of Columbia v. Heller and Mc. Donald’s v. City of Chicago, which establishes that citizens are free to possess and make firearms which are in common use for self-defense, the defendants further argue that according to the rules, State Government’s permission to export firearms is required, for the purpose of the aforementioned, exports mean: (1) “sending or taking a defense article out of the United States in any manner, except by mere travel outside of the United States by a person whose personal knowledge includes technical data,” and (2) “disclosing (including oral or visual disclosure) or transferring technical data to a foreign person, whether in the United States or abroad, pursuant to which the claimant’s posted blueprints would be freely accessible by foreign governments, associations and other individuals who are not protected under the Second Amendment, and any violation of it will extract heavy penalties as prohibition of such export is a firmly rooted historical regime.

It is pertinent to look at the injunction order by the Seattle District court on such blueprints making guns available in a downloadable form on the internet, which is a transient victory for 19 U.S states and the District of Columbia, which are against such publication as it is inimical to the lives of the residents, more than being used for self-defense, these will be more susceptible to use by criminals and terrorists on account of being that untraceable and imperceptible, which is contrary to public interest as the State might suffer irreparable loss, also the rights enshrined upon the citizens by the First and the Second Amendments are dwarfed by the irreparable damage which the State might suffer. The Texas based company, Defense Distributed was ordered to take down such blue prints in  President Obama’s administration, but the State Department, now lead by Trump’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reached a settlement with Wilson, wherein he would be allowed to upload instructions for such blueprints making it accessible to everyone, irrespective to one’s age, mental health or criminal history, with the right printers and requisite material. Despite Defense Distributed known for its selling of gun parts called “ghost guns” untraceable all over US, the Trump administration agreed to reach to a settlement. Looking at the apocalypse it is capable of creating, New Jersey along with other seven states sued the Trump administration. With a host of questions left unanswered, Trump administration has to answer the public whether lives of citizens mattered him the most or his own political fortunes, to which at present he seems baffled about. Trump’s gun friendly politics at the cost of such exasperated epidemics of gun violence capable of creating devastation at fatal scales could shake the confidence of citizens in the incumbent State administration.


Written By- Akanksha Badika

3rd Year B.B.A. LL.B