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August 10, 2018

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN DEMANDS THAT U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT STOP ONLINE SPREAD OF 3D-PRINTED GUN PLANS

Multistate Letter Urges Administration to Take Immediate Action

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan joined a coalition of 22 state attorneys general today to send 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 downloadable plans for 3D-printed guns that were illegally posted online.

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 Madigan and eight 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 other state attorneys general have since joined that lawsuit.

“In Illinois we are taking action to combat gun violence in our communities, and making it easier for would-be criminals to produce 3-D plastic guns that are untraceable and cannot be detected by metal detectors seriously jeopardizes the public’s safety,” Madigan said. “I urge the administration to support states’ efforts to protect our residents by prohibiting plans for printing 3-D weapons from being available online.”

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 re-posted these files online, and the federal government has taken no apparent action to have them removed.

Madigan and 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. The federal officials 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.

Joining Madigan in today’s coalition are state attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

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