Freedom of speech and gun rights are one and the same

Stephen Nemo for Communities Digital News wrote today on some issues at stake in the Defense Distributed’s pending lawsuit against the State Department, saying:

Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed and creator of the Liberator, says his non-profit organization exists “to collaboratively produce, publish, and distribute to the public without charge information and knowledge related to the digital manufacture of arms.”

In other words, Wilson isn’t selling the Liberator. He’s giving away lines of code that users download and send to their 3D printers. Once printed, the parts are assembled into a .380 caliber shooter.

Here’s the question: are the words written in computer code protected by the First Amendment?

The U.S. State Department doesn’t think so, accusing Defense Distributed of violating the regulations of the Arms Export Control Act. In a May 2013 letter to Wilson, the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance told the self-described “crypto-anarchist” to remove his code “from public access immediately.”

Read the story at Communities Digital News.