The Plot Thickens: DC and 8 States Sue to Stop Downloads

The story that won't go away

Published Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Gun Rights Watch article by GRW Chief Editor

In a frantic move, the District of Columbia and 8 states filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court in the Western District of Washington in Seattle against the federal government, claiming that their agreement with both Defense Distributed and the Second Amendment Foundation violates both the Administrative Procedures Act and the states' 10th Amendment rights. No, it makes no sense to us either.

Washington's Attorney General Bob Ferguson claims the settlement is in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, because there is no indication in the settlement agreement that any analysis was made by the government in consultation with other agencies, before the federal government agreed to lift export controls on the downloadable guns — which is ludicrous because since the agreement was made to uphold a citizen's rights, what analysis needed to be made? It wasn't a case of,"let's do X because it's better than Y," it was a case of, "we have to do this because the Constitution says so."

The lawsuit also argues the settlement violates the Tenth Amendment by infringing on states' rights to regulate firearms. Again, totally ridiculous. It simply affirms the citizens' legal ability to do exactly what they already have the right to do — to build their own firearms for personal use. 

Even the AECA, or Arms Export Control Act, is not on their side. Especially problematic for the gun grabbers is this phrase of 22 U.S.C. §2778(a)(1):

"(h) Judicial review of designation of items as defense articles or services. The designation by the President (or by an official to whom the President's functions under subsection (a) have been duly delegated), in regulations issued under this section, of items as defense articles or defense services for purposes of this section shall not be subject to judicial review."

Bummer. An even bigger bummer for the First and Second Amendment haters is that the downloads started last Friday, because... well, because there's was nothing legally preventing Defense Distributed from doing so. The files went live at the beginning of the weekend, and by Monday afternoon they had already been downloaded 12,000 times.

But let's rewind. Before any of that on Sunday, Reason Magazine revealed that Defense Distributed along with the Second Amendment Foundation was suing New Jersey and Los Angeles over legal threats that they made, asserting that they were trying to restrain the company's First Amendment rights, which was quickly followed by news that the state of Pennsylvania was seeking a restraining order against them to stop them from distributing the files there.

A restraining order??? I didn't even know they were in a relationship!