Defense Distributed announced that they had been forced by the U.S. State Department to remove plans for a 3D-printed firearm from its website.
The Twitter account affiliated with this non-profit corporation twitted on Thursday that “#DEFCAD has gone dark at the request of the Department of Defense Trade Controls. Take it up with the Secretary of State”.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson believes that the letter he received from the State Department Thursday could have violated U.S. laws regarding the sale of weapons internationally. He told Forbes Magazine that the letter ordered him to remove blueprints for several 3D-printable weapons.
A State Department spokesperson told ABC News Friday that they do not comment on individual cases of this nature, but confirmed that they had been in contact with Defense Distributed.
“In accordance with the Arms Export Control Act, any person who engages in the U.S. in the business of manufacturing or exporting defense articles, furnishing defense services, or engages in arms brokering covered by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is required to register with the State Department (via the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls).”
“The U.S. government views the export of defense articles and defense services as an integral part of safeguarding U.S. national security and furthering U.S. foreign policy objectives. The United States is cognizant of the potentially adverse consequences of indiscriminate arms transfers and, therefore, strictly regulates exports of defense items and technologies to protect its national interests and those interests in peace and security of the broader international community,” a State Department spokesperson wrote in an email to ABC News.
Defense Distributed claims that its mission is “defend the civil liberty of popular access to arms” by making information on how to print 3D weapons available internationally.
The first fully 3D-printable gun was tested by the corporation on May 2. According to Forbes Magazine, The gun successfully fired a round.
On the other hand, British 3D printing company Digits2Widgets warns that home 3D printers are not capable of printing a gun like the one tested by Defense Distributed.
The company blogged on Wednesday that “the level of precision detail that they can achieve and the poor engineering quality of their own plastic materials would make it suicidal to attempt to print and fire the gun made from any of these machines.”By Friday, Defense Distributed has not responded to the comment.
Wilson told ABC News that Government leaders “act like passing a law will keep magazines off the street, but we want to show them that magazines will always be on the street.”
A Texas law student who lists anti-statist and libertarian philosophers as his influences, he appeared in a YouTube video in February, firing a gun with a 3D-printed, 30-round magazine. At that time, he told ABC News he was hoping to change the debate over proposed gun control measures that have since died in the Senate.