Archive for the ‘defense distributed’ Category

NJ AG: Takedown notice that led to new gun-file lawsuit came from Slovakia—not us

February 15th, 2019
Hmm, those don't seem to be the same thing.

Enlarge / Hmm, those don't seem to be the same thing. (credit: Google Maps)

Last week, it appeared Defense Distributed's battle against the State of New Jersey over a recently enacted "ghost gun" law had new life. This week, a filing from the New Jersey Attorney General's office puts one of the new lawsuit's inciting incidents into question.

In a February 12 letter (PDF) to District of New Jersey Judge Anne Thompson, NJ Assistant AG Glenn J. Moramarco writes that a recent takedown notice submitted to Cloudfare and aimed at the website CodeIsFreeSpeech was faked.

"A key document supporting Plaintiff's TRO application—a 'takedown notice' purportedly sent by [New Jersey AG's Division of Criminal Justice] to CloudFlare, Inc., which hosts one of the plaintiff's websites, CodeIsFreeSpeech.com—was not in fact issued by DCJ," the NJ AG's office writes in the filing. "[It] appears to have been issued by some entity impersonating the Attorney General's Office."

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Court dismisses Defense Distributed’s lawsuit over New Jersey “ghost gun” law

February 1st, 2019
The US Courthouse in Austin, Texas.

Enlarge / The US Courthouse in Austin, Texas. (credit: Nathan Mattise)

Sometimes lawsuits can be like real estate—all about location, location, location. And this week at a federal court in Texas, US District Judge Robert Pitman made a ruling (PDF) that ended Defense Distributed v. Grewal (PDF), the lawsuit brought last summer by the 3D printed firearms company (and colleagues like the Second Amendment Foundation) against New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal.

From Defense Distributed's perspective, the core question involved whether a NJ statute aimed at regulating “ghost guns” violated the Constitution. The company believed such a law infringed on its right to free speech (among other legal claims). Judge Pitman, however, did not ultimately have to weigh in on that matter. Instead, he granted New Jersey's motion to dismiss on the grounds that he did not have jurisdiction to hear this matter in the first place.

The case for jurisdiction

Back at a hearing on January 15 (transcript available), attorneys for Defense Distributed and New Jersey outlined their arguments as to why or why not this particular case should be heard in a Texas federal courtroom. Prior legal precedent appeared split, but Defense Distributed attorney Chad Flores argued this case resembled Calder v. Jones. In that ruling, the Supreme Court did allow a court within a state to have personal jurisdiction over a national entity (the National Enquirer, based in Florida then, was sued for defamation in California after copies were distributed in-state). Flores argued that like Enquirer in Calder, the NJ statute does “change what people can say here in Texas,” therefore Pitman should have jurisdiction.

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“This isn’t like shipping wine”—Defense Distributed v. Grewal has its day in court

January 16th, 2019
Defense Distributed was looking forward to this day enough that it produced a movie-like trailer. (Srsly)

Enlarge / Defense Distributed was looking forward to this day enough that it produced a movie-like trailer. (Srsly) (credit: Defense Distributed)

AUSTIN, Texas—“I see nuances that require more thought,” US District Judge Robert Pitman told the assembled attorneys and small crowd of onlookers (new Defense Distributed Director Paloma Heindorff included). “All presentations have been of great use, and these are fascinating and important issues.”

Pitman, clearly, would not be making any rulings in Defense Distributed v. Grewal (PDF), a suit brought last summer by the 3D printed firearms company (and colleagues like the Second Amendment Foundation) against New Jersey State Attorney General Gurbir Grewal. But just as clearly, the judge appeared to recognize the fundamental and futuristic questions at play as the idea of free speech collides with the idea of digitally distributing CAD files for printing a firearm.

This case largely hinges on a newly enacted state law, SB2465, aimed at regulating “ghost guns.” Texas-based Defense Distributed believes it violates the Constitution. The company has failed twice to argue for a temporary restraining order against New Jersey. Now Judge Pitman gathered the two legal teams to consider a preliminary injunction, a wider-reaching legal maneuver that could potentially halt an array of actions.

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“Ghost guns,” underage sex, and the First Amendment: Defense Distributed’s legal saga

January 12th, 2019
DefDist's Paloma Heindorff holds up the letter from the Department of State that started it all.

Enlarge / DefDist's Paloma Heindorff holds up the letter from the Department of State that started it all. (credit: Defense Distributed)

Plenty has happened since Ars last took a moment to outline the legal mishegas involving Defense Distributed, its founder Cody Wilson, and the future of 3D-printed guns.

After a surprising settlement with the Department of Justice in summer 2018 ended a five-year legal battle, Defense Distributed finally had the go-ahead to legally publish its 3D-printable firearms CAD files online. Wilson initially announced the files would be restored on August 1, 2018—but he put them up early, on July 27.

Within days, several US states sued to stop the distribution. On July 31, a federal judge in Seattle granted a "temporary restraining order" (TRO) preventing Defense Distributed from further publishing its 10 firearms files. Wilson and Defense Distributed complied.

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Texas indicts Cody Wilson on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor

January 3rd, 2019

Nathan Mattise

AUSTIN, Texas—More than three months have passed since a warrant (PDF) initially went out for Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson's arrest. That document detailed Wilson's alleged sexual assault against a female "child younger than 17 years of age" whom he reportedly solicited through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com. Last Friday, December 28, the State of Texas finally formally indicted (PDF) Wilson. The 3D printed gun advocate now faces multiple charges: four counts of sexual assault of a child, two charges of indecency with a child by contact, and two charges of indecency with a child by exposure.

These charges are all second-degree felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.

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