Embattled 3D printable gun advocate Cody Wilson and his Texas-based company, Defense Distributed are being sued by nearly two dozen states in the US. Attorneys General are marshaling a coast-to-coast legal fight against Mr. Wilson after he had an agreement with the US Department of State that effectively allowed Defense Distributed to host downloadable firearm blueprints for use with a 3D printer. In response, Mr. Wilson launched a two-week fundraising and media campaign to raise awareness of his plight, hoping to be able have digital 3D firearm blueprint files freely downloadable from his website.
3D Gun Advocate Cody Wilson Reveals Two Week Legal Fundraiser
“In July, you may have heard that Defense Distributed won a settlement from the US Dept of State to publish gun blueprints online,” Mr. Wilson began in a letter to supporters who have been with him from the beginning. “We in fact received a license from the federal government to publish our software, and we consider it a landmark victory for the 1st and 2nd Amendments, hard won after many years in federal court.”
Indeed, Mr. Wilson dropped out of a promising legal career as a student at the University of Texas to pursue what was at first a lark, a flirt, half a decade ago. He and a friend were inspired by the work of Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Mr. Wilson and a couple of conspirators set out to create a version of something they called a Wikiweapon. Radical equality was what they insisted they were pursuing through the Maker movement, essentially hobbyists who wanted to build replacement parts or molds for art projects. No one had previously thought of gun.
Mr. Wilson then was able to produce a single shot, plastic pistol from a commercial grade 3D printer. He made the blueprints available on his website, Defense Distributed, under the tab Defcad.org. Rumor has it his free and open to the public digital firearm blueprints were downloaded 100,000 times before the US Department of State sent him a letter, ordering the files’ removal as they violated international firearm distribution laws.
Feds Say Yes, States Say No
He and Defense Distributed complied immediately, but continued building among the legal ruins. He began manufacturing small milling machines for the express purpose of producing gun-related parts. After months without clarification on its initial order, Mr. Wilson turned the tables and sued the federal government for depriving him of the right to speak, along with unnecessarily curtailing his Second Amendment freedoms.
Curiously, he wound up losing major early court battles, and most enthusiasts resigned to not being able to legally distribute digital firearms files through the web. Mr. Wilson insists had his case reached the Supreme Court, he would’ve surely won on appeal. The State Department, he urges, wanted to make sure they at least got something out of the deal by negotiating ahead of a Supreme Court decision surely to be in his favor. Whatever the case, an agreement was struck, and Mr. Wilson just recently began hosting the digital files on his website again, only this time with the US federal government’s blessing.
“I had hoped to spend at least a day in celebration,” Mr. Wilson continued to his supporters. “We were prepared to show you a number of incredible things as a result of this victory. But on the day we began publishing files at DEFCAD.com, we faced a tidal wave of lawsuits from Blue State Democrat attorneys general. We are being sued by 21 states across four venues in this country.” Clearly, governments wish to silence Mr. Wilson through a war of legal attrition.
In response, Mr. Wilson has launched a two-week fundraising campaign in conjunction with Bitcoin.com, which will match every donation made in bitcoin cash (BCH) up to $100,000, paid personally by CEO Roger Ver. The company and Mr. Ver view supporting the Defense Distributed case as in line with their corporate mission to bring more freedom to the world.
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Images via Pixabay, Defense Distributed.