How Cody Wilson is selling 3D-printed guns despite ban

Defense Distributed founder says more than 400 blueprints for the firearms ordered in less than 24 hours

A US judge has blocked the release of plans for 3-D-printed guns
A US judge this week banned the process of uploading blueprints for 3D printed guns
(Image credit: Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images)

A Texas-based weapons firm that was banned from sharing blueprints for 3D-printed plastic guns on the internet has found another way of distributing the firearm designs.

Cody Wilson, chief executive of Defense Distributed, is instead selling the blueprints on USB drives, circumventing a court ruling that prohibits his company from offering the plans as free downloads.

According to the Associated Press, Wilson told a news conference yesterday that he had already taken more than 400 orders after opening sales for the weapon blueprints on the company’s website earlier in the day.

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“Anyone who wants to get these files is going to get them,” he said.

People who want to purchase the blueprints can pay a “suggested” fee of $10 (£7.70), but buyers are given free rein over how much they can spend, the BBC reports.

However, only people living in US states that have not imposed a ban on these firearms are able to purchase the USB drives. People outside these areas are shown the message: “Your masters say you can’t be trusted with this information. Sorry, little lamb.”

Defense Distributed first began publishing the blueprints for its printable handgun, the Liberator, back in 2013.

The company was barred from distributing the plans later that year, before the ban was lifted last month.

On Monday the firm was once again barred from distributing the blueprints in the form of free online downloads, by Seattle-based District Judge Robert Lasnik.

But as Vice notes, while Lasnik’s order prohibits 3D-printed gun files from being uploaded to the internet, a loophole means that they can still be “emailed, mailed, securely transmitted or otherwise published” within the US.

With this in mind, Wilson told the news site that he is not concerned about being held in contempt of court.

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