Multistate Letter Urges Trump Administration to Take Immediate Action

BALTIMORE, MD (August 10, 2018) – Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh today joined a coalition of 22 state attorneys general in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Department of State take immediate action to remove from several websites illegal, downloadable plans for 3D-printed guns.

The letter criticizes the Department of State’s failure to mitigate the harms of its settlement with Defense Distributed, an online company that was authorized by the federal government to post plans for 3D-printed guns online. Last week, a multistate lawsuit filed by 9 state attorneys general seeking to stop the Department of State’s action won a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in Seattle, blocking the publication of downloadable plans online. Eleven additional state attorneys general have since joined that lawsuit.

“Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Pompeo are sitting on their hands while these illegal blueprints for 3D-printed guns are available to minors and to criminals and terrorists,” said Attorney General Frosh. “The Trump Administration cannot continue to ignore this public safety hazard.”

In the letter, the state attorneys general call on Secretary Pompeo and Attorney General Sessions to take steps to ensure that Defense Distributed’s files are not available to anyone, especially those who pose a threat to public safety.

Since the temporary restraining order was put in place, Defense Distributed removed files for 3D-printed guns posted on its website, but several other easily accessible websites have since reposted these files online and the federal government has taken no apparent action to have them removed.

A multistate coalition sent a letter last week urging Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Pompeo to withdraw from the settlement with Defense Distributed, writing that it recklessly disregards public safety. Attorney General Sessions and Secretary Pompeo have yet to respond to the state attorneys general’s concerns and have not indicated any willingness to confront the urgent public safety risk posed by 3D-printed firearms.

Today’s letter was led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and signed by attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.