Self-described “crypto-anarchist” Cody Wilson has resumed offering blueprints for 3D-printed guns online, just 24 hours after a federal judge banned him from uploading them to the internet.
A gleeful Wilson told VICE News that he'd found a loophole in the language of the 25-page order issued Monday by District Judge Robert Lasnik.
“If you look at the order, the part right after [Judge Lasnik] shits on the First Amendment, it says I can still mail the files or securely transmit them,” he said. “I’m only doing what he told me to do.”
Wilson said he’s not concerned about being held in contempt of court. And his nonchalance may not be entirely unfounded.
“Regulation under [The Arms Export Control Act] means that the files cannot be uploaded to the internet,” Lasnik wrote at the end of the order. “But they can be emailed, mailed, securely transmitted, or otherwise published within the United States.”
When the State Department first ordered Wilson to take his blueprints offline, in 2013, officials cited violations of the Arms Export Control Act, which regulates the transfer of weapons to foreign countries. Two years later, Wilson sued the State Department, asserting that their order had violated his First Amendment free speech rights.
The judge’s order came as part of a multistate lawsuit that seeks to overturn the abrupt settlement between Wilson and his company, Defense Distributed, and the State Department. On July 31, the judge issued a temporary restraining order against Wilson, which forced him to once again remove his blueprints from his website DefCad.com. The same judge's order Monday extended that block while the lawsuit is pending.
But by Tuesday, Wilson’s blueprints for 3D-printed guns had reappeared on his website. Only now, a “purchase” button has replaced the “download” option.
When users click that, they're directed to a new page, where the selected gun model appears next to a “suggested price” of $10.00. They have the option to name a price, as little as $0.00, and then proceed to checkout and enter billing details and a shipping address. They’re also prompted to check boxes affirming they’re a U.S. citizen, and that they’ve read the terms and conditions.
Cover image: Cody Wilson, with Defense Distributed, holds a 3D-printed gun called the Liberator at his shop, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)