States aim to stop internet release of 3D-printed gun plans

SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge in Seattle is scheduled to hear arguments on whether to block a settlement the U.S. State Department reached with a company that wants to post blueprints for printing 3D weapons on the internet.

The federal agency had tried to stop a Texas company from releasing the plans online, arguing it violated export regulations. But the agency reversed itself in April and entered an agreement with the company that would allow it to post the plans.

Nineteen states and the District of Columbia sued and last month secured a restraining order to stop that process, and now they want to make it permanent.

The U.S. Justice Department says federal law already prohibits the manufacture or possession of undetectable plastic guns.

The states say the government’s actions could cause “drastic, irreparable harm.”