Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general, led by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in filing a lawsuit Thursday, Jan. 23, challenging the Trump Administration’s latest effort to allow 3D-printed gun files to be released on the internet.
According to a news release, these files would allow plug-and-play access to 3D-print unregistered, untraceable firearms, sometimes called “ghost guns,” that can be very difficult to detect, even with a metal detector.
In a previous multi-state lawsuit that Minnesota joined, a federal court in November 2019 struck down the Trump Administration’s earlier attempt to allow the release of the files. Despite losing in court, the Trump Administration yesterday finalized new rules that would transfer regulation of 3D-printed guns from the U.S. State Department to the U.S. Department of Commerce. According to the release, due to loopholes in Commerce regulations, which are already weaker than State Department restrictions, the Commerce Department will lack the power to regulate 3D-printed guns in any meaningful way. This will effectively allow for their unlimited distribution.
In the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Ellison and the coalition argue those rules are unlawful for many of the same reasons as the previous attempt.
“My job is to help Minnesotans live with safety, dignity, and respect. It’s hard even to conceive that the Trump Administration is willing to let Minnesotans die just so a few companies can get rich off of flooding our streets with undetectable and untraceable weapons,” Ellison stated in the release. “But that’s exactly what the administration is doing. I won’t allow it.”