Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is objecting to a Trump administration legal settlement that would allow a Texas group to move forward with publishing technical plans for 3D printed guns.
Miller will join a lawsuit filed in Washington state seeking to block publication of the plans, slated to begin today. He also joined 20 other attorneys general in a letter to the Trump administration saying the settlement and new federal rules are “deeply dangerous and could have an unprecedented impact on public safety.”
A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order blocking release of the plans Tuesday afternoon.
The prospect of 3D printed plastic guns has alarmed gun control advocates and others.
In an email Tuesday, Lynn Hicks, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said publishing blueprints could enable the production of weapons that are “untraceable and undetectable by magnetometers in places such as airports, government buildings and schools.”
A Texas-based group called Defense Distributed has been seeking to publish the plans for years.
The Obama administration sought to block publication on the Internet of some of the files in 2013, arguing it would endanger national security by allowing anyone with access to a 3D printer to make undetectable guns. The federal Arms Export Control Act authorizes the government to control the export of certain defense articles and materials.
Defense Distributed objected, saying the administration was infringing on its free speech rights.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration settled the case. It also published new rules related to the export of firearms.
Gun rights groups have complained over the years existing rules are overly broad.
In the letter Monday to the Justice and State departments, the attorneys generals said the result would be “unrestricted access, domestically and abroad, to large amounts of technical data that had previously been regulated to promote serious national security interests.”
Defense Distributed and its owner Cody Wilson have vowed to fight attempts to stop publication.
President Trump weighed in on the issue Tuesday. In a tweet, he said, “I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn’t seem to make much sense!”