Facebook bans posts linking to 3-D gun blueprints

Facebook is the latest opponent to make a move against the online publication of blueprints for 3-D printed firearms.

Sites that host downloadable blueprints for 3D-printed firearms will now be banned from Facebook, and sharing instructions on how to print 3-D guns will be banned, according to a Thursday report by Buzzfeed News.

“Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards,” Facebook said in a statement. “In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook.”

Users who attempt to post or share websites containing the blueprints will receive various error messages across social media applications.

States and anti-gun organizations have been rushing to file legal action to block the blueprints since they were slated to appear online Aug. 1.

A federal judge granted a temporary nationwide restraining order that temporarily blocks the organization, Defense Distributed, from uploading the blueprints.

Cody Wilson, founder of Defense Distributed, had originally posted the blueprints online for a 3D-printed pistol called the “Liberator .380” in 2012. The blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the U.S. State Department ordered him to take down the blueprints over claims of violating international export law.

Wilson, along with the Second Amendment Foundation, sued the State Department for violation of free speech. A multi-year legal battle ensued until the State Department decided to settle the lawsuit in June, which permitted Wilson to post the blueprints online again.

The restraining order blocked the release just hours before they were expected to go online earlier this month.

However, the blueprints still made it online through other websites, such as CodeIsFreeSpeech.com.

Some of these websites are still making it through the Facebook platform, but the company says it is working on expanding its efforts to implement the anti-3D firearms policy.

The regulated goods section of Facebook’s community standards doesn’t permit any sale or exchange of firearms to take place outside of licensed dealers.

However, at-home firearms assembly is entirely legal, as long as the firearms aren’t sold.

The Firearms Policy Coalition, the nonprofit organization behind CodeIsFreeSpeech.com, said Facebook’s ban demonstrated “an outrageous display of censorship and bias.”

“Facebook’s complete and total takedown and block on CodeIsFreeSpeech.com is without question a human policy decision by Facebook executives to single us and our speech out for especially disfavorable treatment,” the organization said.

Eight states have launched lawsuits against the Trump Administration demanding the State Department’s settlement be dissolved. Courts in three states have prohibited the release of blueprints to their respective residents.


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