3d printed handgun frame

Government agencies and the civilian disarmament industrial complex apparently are still under the impression that it’s not too late to stop the signal. That they can still somehow stuff the 3D gun toothpaste back in the tube.

A recent article at The Regulatory Review posits some of the latest ways the gun control industry might accomplish their goal of preventing individuals from using ever-cheaper and more accessible 3D printing technology to produce their own firearms at home. An activity — much to their chagrin — which is still perfectly legal in most states.

Here’s one particularly fun signal-stopping idea: government appropriation and copyrighting of all electronic files for 3D printed guns.

First Amendment questions about restricting schematics for 3D-printed guns can be avoided by using copyright law, R Street Institute’s Charles Duan argues in Lawfare. Because the plastic gun digital schematic receives a copyright, he posits that the government could take ownership of that copyright under the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, which allows the government to exercise its sovereign right to acquire private property for the public interest.

Duan outlines a scheme where the government, or a nonprofit organization to which the government transfers the copyright, could then sue the creator of the 3D-printer gun schematics to prevent them from distributing their own design. “Whether or not the government can stop distribution of the schematic directly, it likely can do so using copyright without violating the First Amendment,” he claims.

Duan cautions against this approach, however, acknowledging a government could turn copyright into a “general-purpose censorship tool.”

– Peter Jacobs, Hannah Pugh, and Jasmine Wang in Regulating Ghost Guns


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