A federal judge in Seattle has issued a temporary restraining order to stop the release of blueprints to make 3D-printed plastic guns.
Defense Distributed – the Texas-based company behind the blueprints – reached a settlement in June that allowed the plans for the guns to be available for download starting Wednesday.
The restraining order, issued Tuesday afternoon by US District Judge Robert Lasnik, puts that on hold for now.
"There are 3D printers in public colleges and public spaces and there is the likelihood of potential irreparable harm," Lasnik noted at the end of an hour-long hearing on the case.
Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers are urging President Donald Trump to reverse the decision to let the company publish the plans for what they call "ghost guns."
"The failure to ban them will mean blood on the hands of officials who have that responsibility," Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) warned. "I call on the Trump administration now to do the right thing."
While the Trump administration had initially determined in June that releasing the 3D blueprint would not violate federal law, the White House appears to be rethinking the matter.
"I am looking into 3D Plastic Guns being sold to the public," President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday. "Already spoke to the NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!"
I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 31, 2018
And speaking at a press gaggle in Florida Tuesday, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley told reporters it's "illegal to own or make a wholly plastic gun of any kind, including those made on a 3D printer."
"The administration supports this nearly two-decade-old law, and will continue to look at all options available to us to do what is necessary to protect Americans while also supporting the First and Second Amendments," he said.
Meanwhile, NRA officials chastised "anti-gun politicians" and members of the media for erroneously claiming that 3D printing technology "will allow for the production and widespread proliferation of undetectable plastic firearms."
The reality, noted NRA Executive Director Chris Cox, is that "undetectable plastic guns have been illegal for 30 years."
"Federal law passed in 1988, crafted with the NRA's support, makes it unlawful to manufacture, import, sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive an undetectable firearm," he said.