ITAR vs the First Amendment

Breaking news – the US State Department has informed Defense Distributed that posting 3D model blueprints is a violation of ITAR, essentially saying it is the legal equivalent of exporting firearms parts. They have ordered DD to take down its prints, not just of the Liberator pistol, but also of several other parts, including items that are not legally controlled in any way in the US, such as a flash hider and a VZ-58 sight. Of course, given the 100,000+ downloads and the information’s presence on bittorrent networks, one might as well try stuffing a genie back into its bottle (which, we are sure, is why Cody Wilson and DD are not appearing too distraught over the order).

Incidentally, this very ITAR issue is a large part of why we don’t post technical drawings here at Forgotten Weapons. Cody Wilson is a gung-ho law student itching for a fight; we’re gun geeks who would rather avoid Imperial entanglements.

The question, of course, is whether the government should have the power to prohibit free exchange of information. We think not, and we wish Wilson and DD all the best in their fight. We liked PGP, we like printable guns, and we like the idea of being able to discuss technical matters with friends worldwide without having to worry about Uncle Sam throwing us in prison for it.

Edited to add this recent video from DefDist: