DOJ Settles Defense Distributed Case

They essentially gave up, agreed to pay attorneys’ fees to DD, and agree that going forward, small arms that aren’t machine guns or destructive devices won’t be considered munitions. If you recall, Defense Distributed was forced, under International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) to remove plans for firearms, arguing that posting the plans online constituted exporting munitions.

This is a promising development.

7 thoughts on “DOJ Settles Defense Distributed Case”

  1. Also, suppressors considered munitions, this will complicate deregulating them.

  2. Clayton Cramer says that in the settlement the government expressly acknowledged that non-automatic firearms up to .50-caliber – including modern semi-auto sporting rifles such as the popular AR-15 and similar firearms – are not inherently military.

  3. This feels like a big win that’s flying under the radar a little. It’s a technical subject, and the initial hype of 3d printing has worn off a little, so it’s not clickbait materiel.

  4. This reminds me of a consent decree. If you’re not familiar with this concept, it goes something like this – the government wants to do something, like hire more minorities or stop a development, but the laws and regulations don’t cooperate.

    A liberal special interest group sues regarding this and the government lackadaisically defends it. After a while, the two parties reach a settlement, called a consent decree, where the government acknowledges no wrong-doing, but agrees to do what the special interest group wants (and the government also wanted to do all along).

    The developer, or non-minorities who want jobs, are not party to the consent decree, so they are powerless to contest it.

    So in this case it looks like maybe the pro-self defense community had an advocate in the government legal team. The government acknowledging that non-automatic firearms are not inherently military will make legal challenges to semi-automatic bans more likely to succeed.

    1. As Glen Renolds is fond of saying, “the left is going to hate the new rules”.

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