With the settlement in the Defense Distributed and SAF’s lawsuit against the State Department, the gun prohibitionists have gone bonkers. They realize, correctly I might add, that the ability to make one’s own firearm is the death knell for gun control. Particularly egregious have been the actions of the Attorney General of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal, and the City Attorney of Los Angeles, Michael Feuer. Both have sent threatening letters to Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed demanding he not put his CNC and 3-D printing files online.
In response, Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit yesterday in US District Court for the Western District of Texas naming both of these individuals in both their official and individual capacities. The suit seeks declaratory and injunctive relief against their treats as well as for compensatory damages due to lost advertising fees and attorney fees. I anticipate the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be added to this suit as they have sought a temporary restraining order to prevent Defense Distributed from making their files available to Pennsylvania residents. As with LA and New Jersey IP addresses, those from Pennsylvania will be blocked for the time being.
The complaint says that the defendants have waged “an ideologically-fueled program of intimidation and harassment” against Defense Distributed. It goes on to say:
Alas these state and municipal officers from across the country cannot veto Defense Distributed’s constitutionally-protected and federally-licensed speech. The Defendants’ threatened legal actions violate the First Amendment speech rights of Defense Distributed and its audience, including SAF’s members; run afoul of the Dormant Commerce Clause; infringe upon the Second Amendment rights of those who would make use of the knowledge disseminated by Defense Distributed; constitute a tortious interference with Defense Distributed’s business; and are in any event, federally pre-empted by Congress’s export control laws as well as Defense Distributed’s export license, by which the State Department has explicitly authorized the speech that the Defendants are seeking to silence. Plaintiffs are entitled to declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorney fees.
The actions of the officials of New Jersey, Los Angeles, and now Pennsylvania are an assault on the First and Second Amendments. Moreover, the suit alleges their actions interfere in matters where Federal law is supreme including interstate commerce and export control law. It should be noted that this court has already turned down an attempt by a coalition of gun prohibitionists groups to interfere in the settlement between Defense Distributed and the State Department.
The attorneys for Defense Distributed are Alan Gura and Prof. Josh Blackman.