Cody Wilson and the Second Amendment Foundation are fighting the good fight against some extremely restrictive ITAR regulations that have put the kibosh on Defense Distributed’s 3D printed firearms files. It looks like the first skirmish in that battle has gone to the government, with a Texas judge denying a preliminary injunction that would have allowed Defense Distributed to distribute their CAD files online again. TTAG has exclusively obtained the judge’s order, and while an immediate appeal has already been filed, there are still some real gems in here that show how the legal system thinks about the Second Amendment and free speech in general. Hint: it ain’t good . . .
From the order (available in full here):
While the founding fathers did not have access to such technology, Plaintiffs maintain the ability to manufacture guns falls within the right to keep and bear arms protected by the Second Amendment. Plaintiffs suggest, at the origins of the United States, blacksmithing and forging would have provided citizens with the ability to create their own firearms, and thus bolster their ability to “keep and bear arms.” While Plaintffs’ logic is appealing, Plaintiffs do not cite any authority for this proposition, nor has the Court located any. The Court further finds telling that in the Supreme Court’s exhaustive historical analysis set forth in Heller, the discussion of the meaning of “keep and bear arms” did not touch in any way on an individual’s right to manufacture or create those arms. The Court is thus reluctant to find the ITAR regulations constitute a burden on the core of the Second Amendment.
In other words, while you absolutely have the right to keep and bear arms, there’s nothing that protects the right to manufacture those firearms. Or so this specific judge says. That could have broad reaching implications for people who manufacture their own guns using 80% receivers, and possibly open the door for a whole new line of attack for gun control activists. Because if the manufacture of guns isn’t protected under the 2nd Amendment, then what’s stopping anti-gun states from declaring all manufacture illegal and running gun makers out of business?
There are a lot more concerning things in the document regarding the first amendment protections and how they don’t apply in the judge’s estimation, but this one is probably the most concerning for gun owners.