North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein doesn’t think you should be able to 3-D print a gun using blueprints from the internet, and he’s joined a federal lawsuit to halt the practice.

Stein joined attorney generals from 20 other states in the lawsuit against the US Department of State, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Department of Commerce, among others. The lawsuit alleges access to blueprint files allows users to reproduce plastic “ghost guns”, weapons that are untraceable and undetectable by metal detectors. 

“These 3-D firearm blueprints are just as dangerous now as they were when I first sued to prevent them from becoming publicly available online,” Stein said in a press statement Friday. “Letting anyone have access to these files, and thus the ability to create undetectable, untraceable guns to hurt others, is a major threat to public safety. I will continue to fight to prevent the federal government from making these blueprints available to anyone and everyone.”

Stein was previously party in a 2018 lawsuit that temporarily halted the release of the blueprint, however, the Trump Administration wants to transfer jurisdiction on the matter from the State Department to the Department of Commerce, “effectively allowing their unlimited distribution,” Stein’s office said. 

Under the direction of President Barack Obama’s administration, the 3-D printing blueprint files were removed from the internet. However, Defense Distributed, an online company that aims to distribute the blueprints, sued. President Donald Trump’s administration decided to settle the lawsuit in 2018 under an agreement that would allow unlimited public distribution of the blueprints, a complete reversal of the prior ban. 

Breaking: Today, I sued the federal government over its latest effort to allow 3-D printed firearm blueprints to be released online. Ghost guns are unregistered, untraceable, hard to detect, & a threat to public safety. We won the last time & I’ll do what I can to win again.

— Josh Stein (@JoshStein_) January 24, 2020

Contact Raleigh news editor Leigh Tauss at 

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