(CN) – Blueprints for 3D-printed guns are now available to anybody who wants them, the owner of a Texas company said Tuesday, claiming a federal judge’s order the day before applied only to free online instructions.
Consumers in the United States can name their own price for the controversial files that began shipping on USB drives Tuesday morning by Austin-based Defense Distributed, owner Cody R. Wilson told reporters at a news conference.
“This judge’s order stopping us from simply giving things away was only an authorization that we can sell it, that we can mail it, that we can e-mail it, that we can provide it by secure transfer,” Wilson said.
“I am doing all of those things,” he added.
Wilson and Defense Distributed appeared in the crosshairs of Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson, who brought a federal complaint in July on behalf of several states and the District of Columbia over a settlement the gun-rights company reached with the federal government.
Wilson had sued to publish the blueprints after being forced to remove the posted designs in 2013 because the government said he violated the law. The U.S. vigorously defended the suit until unexpectedly settling with Wilson on June 29, in an agreement allowing publication.
The coalition of states immediately sued to halt the settlement and requested a temporary restraining order to prevent the company from posting the designs on its website.
U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik did just that in a July ruling, finding that the government possibly violated federal laws by giving the company permission to release the blueprints.
The judge extended his order Monday, citing in part the impact a “legitimate fear that adding undetectable and untraceable guns” will likely have on the public.
Lasnik’s order barred the company from posting the 3D-gun plans online, but did not address whether they could be sold.
Wilson said he would challenge the judge’s order in the Ninth Circuit, and any other court challenges that crop up. His company has already raised $200,000 from supporters eager to aid in legal expenses – about halfway to its goal of $400,000.
“I’m happy now at this point to become the iTunes of downloadable guns, if I can’t be the Napster,” he said.
Wilson said he was not only a defender of gun rights, but of free speech and “your right to put something on the internet.”
“Anyone who wants these files is going to get them,” he said.
“That will never be interrupted. The free exchange of ideas will never be interpreted,” Wilson said, before encouraging others to share their own prints on his website.
The company’s selection of 10 3D-printable weapons includes an AR-15, Beretta 92FS and Ruger 10/22.