Get your detergent out! This court decision on “ghost guns” is making anti-gunners sheet themselves.
As avid Guns & Gadgets Daily readers already know, the evolution of 3D gun printing–which anti-gunners like to call “ghost guns”–is the subject of a major lawsuit by Defense Distributed against New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. The heart of the case is that Defense Distributed offers downloadable documents that relate to 3D printing of guns. Grewal has been fighting to prevent the release of this information in New Jersey…but there are a couple of little, itty-bitty problems with that, and they’re called the First and Second Amendments.
Defense Distributed (together with the Second Amendment Foundation) sued Grewal, and yesterday, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals handed Grewal some very sad news. He’s going to have to try to violate Defense Distributed’s First and Second Amendment rights in Texas, not New Jersey. Uh-oh…
This is a real problem for Grewal, and he knows it. Grewal has been fighting to stay out of Texas federal court in this case. He is one of nine Attorneys General to file suit in the Western District of Washington to enjoin the State Department from authorizing the release of Defense Distributed’s files. (The opinion may be read here.)
In its ruling, the 5th Circuit noted, “Grewal’s conduct beyond sending the cease-and-desist letter confirms his intent to crush Defense Distributed’s operations and not simply limit the dissemination of digital files in New Jersey. Grewal’s enforcement actions are selective. He has not targeted the many similarly-situated persons who publish Defense Distributed’s files on the internet…Instead, he has focused solely on Defense Distributed. Perhaps nowhere is this better illustrated than in Grewal’s efforts to enjoin the national distribution of Defense Distributed’s files by suing in Washington, far from his or the plaintiffs’ home state.
Now, here’s the part of the court’s ruling that ought to make us sit up and take notice. In it, the ruling notes that “Grewal has also threatened Defense Distributed’s founder, Cody Wilson, by name, promising to ‘come after’ ‘anyone who is contemplating making a printable gun’ and ‘the next ghost gun company.’ Together, these actions confirm Grewal’s intent to force Defense Distributed to close shop.”
Grewal is probably on the phone to his local exorcist right now, I’m going to guess. Although New Jersey and New York seem to have no problem leveraging the might of the government against private citizens and organizations that say things they don’t like, Texas jurists seem to have a different view on the matter.
“No one is above the law or the constitution, not even attorney General Grewal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “If you trample on the First Amendment rights of gun owners trying to exercise their Second Amendment rights, you will be headed for trouble.”
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