Colorado AG joins lawsuit over 3-D-printed firearms

DENVER —  Colorado attorney general Cynthia Coffman Monday joined 18 other states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit against the federal government over the U.S. State Department’s settlement of a case involving 3-D-printed firearms.

Coffman previously joined 20 other attorneys general in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging them to withdraw from the settlement and “allow for a full and fair consideration of any proposed rules during formal rulemaking proceedings.”

“I am a strong believer in the constitutional rights protected under the First and Second Amendments. But this proposed settlement would allow unfettered access to firearms blueprints, which could be used to create working, deadly weapons by those who wish to cause great harm, including criminals and terrorists,” Coffman said in a prepared statement. “Because 3D printed firearms have few metal parts, can be acquired without a background check, and are virtually untraceable, printable firearms pose a unique security risk.”

Coffman said modification of the U.S. Munitions List, published by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls within the State Department, “will undermine Colorado’s efforts to ensure that those ineligible to possess firearms under state law are not able to obtain them by printing them from the internet.  Rather than purchasing a firearm from a dealer or private individual, which transfer would generally require a background check, an individual ineligible to legally possess a firearm could simply access a 3D printer, download the plans, and manufacture an untraceable firearm at home within a matter of hours. This safety risk is of particular concern to Colorado, in light of the history of tragic mass shootings in the state, including six shootings that have taken place on school grounds.”

Other states that have joined the lawsuit include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia.

A copy of the complaint can be found here.