Maui Business

Hawai‘i Joins Federal Lawsuit Over Release of 3D-Printed Guns

January 23, 2020, 4:05 PM HST
* Updated January 27, 8:12 AM
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Hawaiʻi Attorney General Clare E. Connors today announced a federal lawsuit challenging an effort to allow 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet. She joins a coalition of 21 attorneys general led by Washington state.

These files would allow plug-and-play access to 3D-print unregistered, untraceable firearms that opponents say can also be very difficult to detect, even with a metal detector. The AGs note that untraceable firearms are sometimes called “ghost guns.”

As a result of a previous multi-state lawsuit, a federal judge struck down the administration’s prior attempt to allow the release of the files. Now, the groups claim the administration has embarked on a new effort by pursuing formal rules. Those rules were finalized today.

The coalition filed a federal lawsuit today in Seattle in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, arguing those rules are unlawful for many of the same reasons as the previous attempt.

“The proposed transfer of these ‘ghost gun’ regulations to the Department of Commerce is being done without sufficient evidence or notice,” said Attorney General Connors. “Turning a blind eye to unregistered, untraceable firearms that anyone can make is dangerous and places our local communities at risk.”

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The new rules that would transfer regulation of 3D-printed guns from the State Department to the Department of Commerce, “effectively allowing their unlimited distribution,” according to the coalition.

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The states participating in today’s lawsuit are: Washington, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and the District of Columbia.

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