A landmark court ruling was handed earlier down this week from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case regarding 3D printed guns. Last December, the EFF filed a brief over 3D printed guns, arguing that files for printing such guns were a form of free speech and thus any regulations on them was a threat to free speech. But according to the recent ruling, they aren't protected under that authority.
The court recognized the importance of constitutional rights but it said that in this case the public interest was too important and thus the public safety must come before upholding constitutional rights. The court has deemed that files for printing guns aren't protected under the 1st or 2nd amendments and they want to prevent their enemies from getting their hands on this kind of technology.
There is still a chance for the case to be appealed and it will be interesting to see if that occurs. Constitutional scholars have argued many times that the Framers recognized rights to pre-exist government, that those rights were an extension of our humanity and that there would be no circumstance where they should ever be violated; even public safety worries.
But for now, sharing 3D printed gun blueprints remains illegal. And the courts will continue to decide which constitutional rights they are going to uphold and which they aren't.
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