US court says ‘ghost gun’ plans may be released online
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Blueprints of self-assembled 3D-printed “ghost guns” may be put online without US State Department approval, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday.
A divided panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reinstated a Trump administration order allowing weapons to be removed from the State Department’s ammunition list.
Listed weapons must be approved by the State Department for export.
In 2015, federal courts applied the requirement to weapons uploaded and intended for production on 3D printers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
However, three years later, the State Department headed by then President Donald Trump settled a lawsuit filed by a 3D weapons company and ordered their withdrawal.
California, 21 other states and the District of Columbia have sued, and a federal judge in Seattle issued an injunction last year, saying releasing the designs without restrictions could put unregistered guns in the hands of terrorists.
In overturning the injunction, the Appeal Board concluded 2-1 that a federal law of 1989 prohibited courts from overturning the State Department’s decision to add or remove a weapon from the ammunition list, reported the Chronicle.
Judge Robert Whaley, who cast the dissenting vote, argued that the potential increase in accessibility of phantom weapons posed “a serious threat to public safety” and noted that the weapons have been linked to several shootings of mass.
The most recent occurred last Thursday in San Diego, where police said a man armed with an unregistered firearm, assembled in a home, killed one person and injured four others during the shooting. unprovoked attacks.
Ghost gun parts can be purchased online or 3D printed from blueprints and assembled weapons at home.
Federal figures showed that nearly a third of the guns seized in California in 2019 were phantom weapons.
These guns usually lack serial numbers, which are used to trace them. California has a law requiring anyone who manufactures a homemade weapon to obtain a serial number or identifying mark from the state Department of Justice, but there are fears the law may not be widely followed.
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