UPDATED: Fighting back against the wave of anti-gun hysteria surrounding a court case aimed at preventing online publication of 3-D gun technology, a California-based group calling itself Code Is Free Speech has launched its own website, complete with links to various files that contain information on the designs of several different firearms.
This comes in the wake of a Tuesday hearing in federal district court in Seattle in which U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik issued a temporary restraining order. Defense Distributed voluntarily took down the information as a result.
Since CodeIsFreeSpeech.com went online, it appears to have generated a lot of interest.
“The plans are out there,” noted Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation, which supported Defense Distributed’s lawsuit against the federal government. It quickly became a First Amendment case, with Second Amendment ramifications. The settlement specifically mentioned “prior restraint” on the government’s part for having originally ordered Defense Distributed from posting the 3-D technology online. Like it or not, the gun “blueprints” are already out there in cyberspace.
In a practical sense, Gottlieb observed, “We’ve won.”
“The computer code is being downloaded faster than a speeding bullet,” he quipped in a conversation with Liberty Park Press.
Code Is Free Speech is a project of the Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, The Calguns Foundation, California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees, and a number of individuals who are passionate about the Constitution and individual liberties, according to their website.
Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson, in an interview with CBS News, said, “I believe that I am championing the Second Amendment in the 21st Century.”
He called access to firearms “a fundamental human dignity, a fundamental human right.”
“What I’m doing is legally protected,” Wilson maintained. “I will go to the appellate level, I will go to the Supreme Court, I will waste all my time.”
Earlier this week, the attorneys general in eight states sued the Trump administration, plus Defense Distributed and SAF in federal court. Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson led that lawsuit, and he told reporters outside the federal courthouse in Seattle that allowing the online publication of 3-D gun technology “makes no damn sense, no damn sense at all.”
Ferguson has previously supported legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons” and he took the unusual step of endorsing a gun control initiative in the Evergreen State earlier this year before it started gathering signatures. His critics assert that he is trying to build his public image in preparation for a run for Washington governor in 2020.
Explaining their website, CodeIsFreeSpeech.com said, “we intend to encourage people to consider new and different aspects of our nation’s marketplace of ideas – even if some government officials disagree with our views or dislike our content – because information is code, code is free speech, and free speech is freedom.”
Meanwhile, Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano said Wednesday that he believes the restraining order will be short-lived because this involves prior restraint of free speech by the government.