In 2013, Cody Wilson published information on how to create a 3D printable firearm online and was told by the State Department that he must remove the information. Now, Wilson is suing the government on 1st Amendment grounds claiming they attempted to restrict his free speech. Alan Feuer for the New York Times reports:
Mr. Wilson’s company, Defense Distributed, has filed suit against the State Department, claiming that its efforts to stop him from publishing his plans, which are no more than computer code, amount to a prior restraint on free speech. The 25-page suit, filed on Wednesday in Federal District Court in Austin, Tex., is an innovative and apparently unprecedented effort to use the First Amendment in support of the Second.
“Defense Distributed believed, and continues to believe, that the United States Constitution guarantees a right to share truthful speech,” the lawsuit states. “Especially speech concerning fundamental constitutional rights in open forums.”
While this argument will be decided in court, some First Amendment experts said the lawsuit was a trailblazing foray into free speech law and, at the least, raised legitimate concerns….
….While Mr. Wilson is a gun enthusiast, he has long maintained that his goal in publishing his files was not necessarily a Second Amendment issue, but rather a declaration that the government should not be in the business of controlling information about new technologies.
Read the rest of the story at the New York Times.