Liberty loving people and pro-Second Amendment folks tend to support access to plans which can be used for printing guns using 3D printers. After all, 3D printing of guns means it’s harder to restrict access to firearms by government tyrants.
Of course, it is this exact same promise of availability of guns to all which has anti-gunners freaking out about 3D printer gun plans. It is, after all, impossible to track who has 3D gun plans, so it’s impossible to know for sure who has guns in a society that allows distribution of 3D gun plans (as if gun control has been able to track who has guns now, but I digress…).
This is the conflict that has led to lawsuits about whether there are First Amendment and/or Second Amendment rights to be able to distribute 3D gun plans.
Fortunately, there has been a recent court victory for First and Second Amendment rights about where anti-gun New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal can bring charges against Defense Distributed who distributes 3D gun plans (hat tip to here for the lead). The press release from the Second Amendment Foundation says,
The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has unanimously ruled that New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal is “subject to the jurisdiction of Texas courts” in a First Amendment case brought by Defense Distributed, a Texas-based firm, and the Second Amendment Foundation.
The case revolves around plaintiffs’ distribution of materials related to the 3D printing of firearms. Defense Distributed and SAF contend Grewal’s efforts to prevent publication of the information online violates their First Amendment rights. Grewal has been fighting to stay out of Texas federal court in this case. He is one of nine Attorneys General to file suit in the Western District of Washington to enjoin the State Department from authorizing the release of Defense Distributed’s files.
Why is this ruling important? The primary reason is that Grewal was trying to find a court which he thought would be more sympathetic to his anti-gun positions, but neither Grewel nor Defense Distributed are located in Washington. Grewel is in New Jersey, and Defense Distributed is in Texas. Thus, Grewel has no legal justification to go after Defense Distributed in a state where the company isn’t located.
Of course, by forcing Grewel to go after Defense Distributed in much more pro-gun Texas, it sets up a situation in which Defense Distributed is much more likely to win the case. A victory in this case in Texas can set up a legal ruling which may then be able to be applied to influence cases in other jurisdictions in Defense Distributed’s favor. That’s a win for both the First and Second Amendments, and it’s a win for all gun rights advocates.