Facebook has confirmed blocking blueprints for making 3D guns across its platforms, including Messenger and Instagram, amid the court battle between the U.S. federal government and 3d-print gun enthusiasts looking to publish the code online.
“Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community
“In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook,” the company said in a statement, as quoted by the BuzzFeed News outlet.
According to the outlet, pro-gun activists Firearms Policy Coalition noticed that Facebook was blocking their materials on Aug. 1.
On July 31, a federal judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) blocking Defense Distributed nonprofit from sharing gun blueprints even though the organization had reached a settlement with the government, which would allow it to distribute gun designs.
U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted shortly before the TRO was issued that he was in talks with
the National Rifle Association and looking into sales of gun blueprints online, which to the president, did not “seem to make sense.”
According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the Department of Justice reached the
settlement without the president’s approval.
The previous U.S. administration stopped Cody Wilson, the founder of Defence Distributed, from distributing blueprints for 3D guns.
The nonprofit launched a lawsuit against the government in 2015, but the case only gained traction this year.