“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Benjamin Franklin, January 1775
This is a lesson that the Attorneys General from 20 states and the District of Columbia and US District Court Judge Robert Lasnik don’t seem to understand. Today Judge Lasnik extended his temporary restraining order preventing Defense Distributed, the Second Amendment Foundation, and Conn Williamson from distributing the 3-D printing and CNC files. The original order was due to expire tomorrow but now will go until the case is settled.
The fact that these files are and have been freely available from other sources on the Internet seems to have been ignored. The website CodeIsFreeSpeech is still up and running and has all of these files.
Judge Lasnik somewhat acknowledged that this is a First Amendment case.
Lasnik said the states have submitted sufficient evidence that they are likely to suffer “irreparable harm” if the blueprints are published. The judge also said Defense Distributed’s First Amendment concerns were “dwarfed” by the states’ safety considerations.
Dwarfed? Really? The so-called safety considerations put forth totally ignore the facts surrounding the 3-D printing of the Liberator pistol. What this case is really about is the gun control lobby and their political allies realizing that 3-D printing along with low-cost CNC machines is the death knell for gun control and they don’t like it.
Stephen Gutowski at the Free Beacon has more on his ruling:
Lasnik said in his ruling he “presumes that the private defendants have a First Amendment right to disseminate the CAD files.” However, he viewed the restrictions on the right to be acceptable.
“That right is currently abridged, but it has not been abrogated,” Lasnik wrote in his ruling.
Lasnik’s wording appears to run counter to the First Amendment’s explicit protection against “abridging the freedom of speech.”
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” the First Amendment reads.
Lasnik said being forbidden from publishing gun designs on the internet didn’t mean Wilson’s free speech rights had been abrogated because Wilson was free to share the designs by other means—such as by mail or other forms of publishing.
“Regulation under the AECA means that the files cannot be uploaded to the internet, but they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States,” Lasnik wrote. “The Court finds that the irreparable burdens on the private defendants’ First Amendment rights are dwarfed by the irreparable harms the States are likely to suffer if the existing restrictions are withdrawn and that, overall, the public interest strongly supports maintaining the status quo through the pendency of this litigation.”
Cody Wilson actually says he is elated by the decision and plans to take it to the next level. He also referred to it as “clownish” and an “intentional insult”.
“The order is a manifest injustice and literally admits to being an abridgment of the freedom of speech,”
I think it is time to see if the 9th Circuit believes more in freedom of speech or in being gun prohibitionists.