Company agrees to block 3D-downloadable guns in Pennsylvania

3D-printed guns

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- State officials say they've stopped a company that makes 3D downloadable guns from making them internet-accessible in Pennsylvania and from uploading new files.

Attorney Gen. Josh Shapiro says Texas-based pro-gun group Defense Distributed agreed to block Pennsylvania users after an emergency hearing Sunday night in federal court in Philadelphia.

Shapiro says he, Gov. Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania State Police sued the company before its formal rollout of a downloadable gun program Wednesday.

He says the company said in court it actually began distributing gun files Friday and by Sunday, 1,000 people had downloaded 3D plans for AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifles.

Wolf says untraceable guns in the hands of unknown users "is too daunting to stand by and not take action."

CBS Philadelphia reports Shapiro said, "The harm to Pennsylvanians would have been immediate and irreversible. Defense Distributed was promising to distribute guns in Pennsylvania in reckless disregard of the state laws that apply to gun sales and purchases in our Commonwealth. Once these untraceable guns are on our streets and in our schools, we can never get them back.

"The decision tonight to block Pennsylvania users from downloading these 3D gun files is a victory for public safety and common sense."

A settlement between the State Department and Defense Distributed is allowing the release of plans for guns online.

The settlement followed a long legal battle between self-described anarchist Cody Wilson, 30, Defense Distributor's founder, and the department.

The State Department demanded Wilson take down his blueprints five years ago. He complied, but fired back with a lawsuit, citing "free speech" rights.

After a legal battle, the settlement was recently reached. Starting Wednesday, the State Department will allow Wilson to start posting his 3D gun blueprints on his website.

"What I'm opposed to is technology unchecked," said David Chipman, a retired Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives special agent. He says 3D-printed guns present a real and present danger because they're both unregulated and untraceable.

"We are basically handing the keys to the store to terrorists and armed criminals," he said.