Several U.S. states said on Monday that they would jointly sue the Trump administration in a last-ditch effort to block the public from being able to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns.
The blueprints are set to go online on Wednesday, following a June settlement between the U.S. government and Texas-based Defense Distributed that allows the company to legally publish the designs.
The states will ask a federal judge to issue a restraining order and an injunction to block the publication, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle.
Along with Washington state, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Maryland, and the District of Columbia are working on finalizing the lawsuit and plan on filing it later on Monday, Ferguson said.
The states behind the lawsuit argue that publishing blueprints would allow criminals easy access to weapons. Gun rights advocates say fears about 3-D printed guns are largely overblown, based on current technology.
A series of mass shootings in the United States has brought a long-simmering debate over the country’s gun laws to the fore, with Democrat lawmakers increasingly calling for greater restrictions.
Defense Distributed had challenged an earlier government ban as a violation of its First and Second Amendment rights to free speech and to bear arms. It says on its website that it plans to release the plans by Aug. 1.
In a statement on Monday, the State Department said that the decision to settle the case was made in the interests of the security and foreign policy of the United States and in consultation with the Justice Department.
The Justice Department declined to comment.