AUSTIN — The Austin man behind the 3D-printed gun company said he is still selling their gun blueprints, despite a federal judge's order to block access to the files on the company's website.
A federal judge blocked the U.S. Department of State from allowing the Austin-based company from publishing plans for 3D-printed guns online Monday, according to a document obtained by KVUE.
However, during a press conference Tuesday, Cody Wilson said his company, "Defense Distributed," will continue to sell their blueprints by emailing them and by mailing them on USB drives. Wilson said this is a secure way of communication that was not included in the judge's order.
"This judge’s order to not authorize us giving things away is only an authorization that we could sell it, that we could mail it, that we could email it, that we could provide it by secure transfer," said Wilson. "I will be doing all of those things now."
Wilson says he believes that selling them, instead of posting the plans for anyone to view or download for free, will not run afoul of the Seattle federal judge's Monday order.
In regards to the judge's ruling Monday, Wilson said, “We didn’t get an interruption to the access of these files. We only got the direct kneecapping and subversion of our first amendment.” Wilson added that the only thing the lawsuits are doing is "hurting your rights to speak.”
According to Sanford Levinson, a professor of law at UT, that's not the case.
"He’s making the argument this is covered by the First Amendment. I don’t find it convincing at the end of the day," said Levinson, explaining that, in his interpretation of the First Amendment, it doesn't cover "blueprints for dangerous weapons."
Levison said potential damages have to be considered.
"It doesn’t seem to me unreasonable to ask 'is this a good idea' and 'is this the kind of speech that is centrally protected by the First Amendment?' I think the answer is no," Levinson said.
Wilson said he doesn't think it will stop sales. He said people interested in the blueprints can obtain them at their own price.
“Everyone in America who wants these files will get them, and they’re allowed to name their own price at our website," Wilson said.
During the press conference, Wilson also said he's "happy to be the iTunes of downloadable guns.”
Defense Distributed had reached a settlement with the federal government in June that allowed the company to make the plans for the guns available for download previously.
Gun control advocates say releasing gun-making blueprints should not be done in the first place.
"We don't think it's safe, there is no background checks nor serial numbers. That will go into the broader market for folks to do bad things," said Gyl Switzer, executive director of Texas Gun Sense, a group that advocates for common sense policies to control firearms.
Last week, KVUE spoke to Wilson who said books could also be dangerous.
"You might learn something that could destroy you or can lead you to destroy people," Wilson explained. "There's no difference to give people information because it's not something you can gatekeep or check."