Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Aug 27 2018

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Ferguson today issued the following statement after U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik decided to extend his order blocking the Trump Administration’s decision to legalize distribution of downloadable files for 3D-printed guns until the matter is resolved in court:

“Once again, I’m glad we put a stop to this dangerous policy,” Ferguson said. “But I have to ask a simple question: why is the Trump Administration working so hard to allow these untraceable, undetectable 3D-printed guns to be available to domestic abusers, felons, and terrorists?”

On July 31, Judge Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking the pending release of the plans on the internet. A TRO is a short-term order put in place in an emergency. Today, he converted his original TRO to a preliminary injunction, which will remain in place until the case is resolved.

From Judge Lasnik’s order:

“Finally, the federal defendants argue that the States will not be harmed at all because the United States is committed to enforcing the Undetectable Firearms Act of 1988. While the Court appreciates the earnestness with which this commitment was made at oral argument, it is of small comfort to know that, once an undetectable firearm has been used to kill a citizen of Delaware or Rhode Island or Vermont, the federal government will seek to prosecute a weapons charge in federal court while the State pursues a murder conviction in state court. The very purpose for which the private defendants seek to release this technical data is to arm every citizen outside of the government’s traditional control mechanisms of licenses, serial numbers, and registration. It is the untraceable and undetectable nature of these small firearms that poses a unique danger. Promising to detect the undetectable while at the same time removing a significant regulatory hurdle to the proliferation of these weapons - both domestically and internationally - rings hollow and in no way ameliorates, much less avoids, the harms that are likely to befall the States if an injunction is not issued.”

Deputy Attorney General Todd Bowers, Complex Litigation Division Chief Jeffrey Rupert, and assistant attorneys general Jeff Sprung, Kristin Beneski and Zach Jones are handling the case for Washington.

Ferguson has now filed 32 lawsuits against the Trump Administration and has not lost a case. Ferguson has 13 legal victories against the Trump Administration. Seven of those cases are finished and cannot be appealed. The Trump Administration has or may appeal the other six, which include lawsuits involving Dreamers, 3D-printed guns, and the transgender military ban. No court to rule on the merits of the Attorney General’s arguments in a lawsuit against the Trump Administration has ruled against the office.

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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contacts:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov