Last year, just before an agreement between the US State Department, the Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed to settle a pending lawsuit that stopped distribution of DefDist’s 3D gun plans went into effect, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit. Along with 20 other attorneys general, they claimed that distribution of 3D gun files would give criminals easy access to firearms. No, really.
Anyway, a US District Judge issued a nantion-wide injunction against the federal government’s settlement in order to block the agreement and prevent DefDist from making their plans available. (If you’ve been looking for downloadable 3D files, they’re widely available, including here).
But that wasn’t enough for AG Ferguson. With the injunction firmly in place as the lawsuit plays out, he then filed requests for discovery against SAF and Defense Distributed. It was basically a giant fishing expedition designed to tie up SAF and DefDist.
But the judge’s injunction was directed at the federal government, not SAF or DefDist. So there’s no reason for the court to compel either of them to produce anything for Ferguson and his fellow anti-gun AGs. Now District Court Judge Robert Lasnik has told Ferguson to pound sand.
Here’s the SAF’s press release . . .
BELLEVUE, WA – A U.S. District Court judge in Seattle has denied a motion by the Washington State Attorney General’s office that sought to compel the Second Amendment Foundation and Defense Distributed to provide discovery responses in a lawsuit the state filed against the U.S. State Department relating to the publication of information about 3D printing of gun designs.
The four-page order was signed by U.S. District Court Judge Robert S. Lasnik on Friday. In his order, he reminded state Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office that when a preliminary injunction was issued last August, it was not against the private defendants in the case, only the federal government. Ferguson’s office is suing the government, SAF and Defense Distributed, the source of computer design data relating to the production of 3D printed guns.
In his ruling, Judge Lasnik noted, “the injunction issued in this case regulates the acts or omissions of the federal defendants: it imposes no duties or restrictions on the private defendants, but rather reinstates the pre-July 27, 2018, regulatory scheme related to access, discussion, use, and reproduction of the CAD files. Plaintiffs did not request relief from or against the private defendants, and the Court made clear at oral argument that the injunction itself did not require the private defendants to take or refrain from any activities…”
He further reminded Ferguson’s office that, “…the private defendants are no more subject to the preliminary injunction than is any other person contemplating the export of computer data files that would allow the creation of guns and their components with a 3D printer.”
“We’re glad Judge Lasnik reminded Ferguson’s office that they can’t change the rules and ask for more than they originally agreed to,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “As the judge noted in his ruling today, we haven’t violated any term or condition of the original order, and trying to make it appear that way by seeking to expand the scope of the injunction seems like legal harassment to us.”
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation’s oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.