January 15th Hearing

If his state’s public safety was of paramount concern, you’d think the attorney general of New Jersey would have made a personal appearance at a hearing where he was in fact ordered to appear. Instead he said “hi” and let a corporate lawyer from TX fumble through the same four talking points while his entire office listened in on the phone in silence.

As advertised, New Jersey’s representative confused and frustrated the court. When in doubt, he’d get out some non sequitur about our company as the “Amazon of fully functioning, fully 3D AR-15s.” But he doesn’t deserve blame for being unable to explain Section 3(l)(2) of New Jersey Senate Bill 2465, because it is, of course, inexplicable.

  • Is a statute that bans every form of communication related to firearms manufacturing CAM and CAD content as narrowly tailored as it could be?
  • Is it the state’s position that it is criminal to mail otherwise legal CAD data about otherwise legal firearms to a New Jersey address?
  • How is this state action not preempted by the federal protections within the Communications Decency Act and indeed the ITAR itself?

Silence from the huddled officeholders on the phone in New Jersey.

The judge offered them a chance to file something intelligible on a later day.

We’ve been asked “what are the next steps now?” or “why no result?” It isn’t that we expect too much. Our judge has already come up with remarkably inventive ways to avoid the merits of this dispute. In our urgent motions for temporary injunctive relief against New Jersey at the end of the year, the judge wrote that Defense Distributed, the world-famous online and commercial distributor of 3D gun files:

… [had] failed to identify the speech content, if any, of the activities they claim the statute will force them to cease.

This from a judge who had handled our previous federal case for the last four years.

So what are our expectations?

We believe the judge will issue an order within a week or two, and regardless of that order the case will proceed on appeal. It’s just good to get these people in a room once every few months to defend things other people wrote for them, about things only other people understand.

If you’d like to join this fight, we ask you to join LEGIO.

PI Hearing in Defense Distributed vs. Grewal

Our case against New Jersey’s insane new speech crime (SB 2465) proceeds with an order from the judge requiring both parties to attend, in person, a preliminary injunction hearing in Austin on January 15.

As a reminder, New Jersey’s legislature and Governor apparently allowed the Giffords Law Center and its pro-bono legal consortium FACT to ghostwrite a criminal statute preventing the entire American public from sharing all digital information related to the manufacture of firearms on the Internet. This works by making it a felony crime in New Jersey for *anyone* to share *anywhere* on earth *any* kind of digital firearms information that a New Jersey court could determine may at some point assist in the manufacture of firearms.

Section 3(l)(2) of SB 2465 provides:

“…it is a third degree crime for: …(2) a person to distribute by any means, including the Internet, to a person in New Jersey who is not registered as a … manufacturer… digital instructions in the form of computer aided design files or other code or instructions … that may be used to program a three-dimensional printer to manufacture or produce a firearm, firearm receiver, magazine, or firearm component.”

If this wasn’t clearly totalitarian enough, the statute goes on to define “three-dimensional printer” to mean any computer or tool that can benefit from drawings or code in the manufacturing process, and “distribute” to mean any verb connected with human communication:

“…sell, or to manufacture, give, provide, lend, trade, mail, deliver, publish, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, display, share, advertise, offer, or make available via the Internet or by any other means, whether for pecuniary gain or not, and includes an agreement or attempt to distribute.”
We especially like this last bit. As even an attempt to circulate a novel firearms manufacturing concept (read: innovate), in a totally different corner of the country or world now makes one subject to political imprisonment in the wastelands of New Jersey.

Giffords and friendly attorneys general in other states like Washington are attempting to replicate these kinds of statutes and dress them with the presumption of lawfulness so firms like ours have to take the time and expense to challenge them.  In the meantime, they believe they can get away with preempting the federal law that controls the questions related to ITAR and gun files on the Internet, and of course they hope against hope that they might insert the same kinds of language into new federal laws (HR 7115) so they don’t have to fight at the state level.

We invite you to watch the representatives of New Jersey confuse the court and contradict themselves in a public hearing on January 15 in Austin, Texas. If you’d like to join this fight, we ask you to join LEGIO.

Temporary Restraining Order Motion against State of New Jersey

On December 4th, 2018, Defense Distributed filed an emergency motion in Texas for a temporary restraining order against the state of New Jersey in response to Senate Bill #2465, which criminalizes online speech related to the manufacture of firearms. This was the second such filing we have attempted in as many months.

Today, the presiding judge in our case again abstained from ruling on the motion and left our company exposed and in jeopardy of total shutdown at the whims of a backwards political class in New Jersey.

The temporary restraining order motion may be viewed here.

Defense Distributed has for over a month been trying to block a new and dangerous law (Section 3(l)(2)) in SB 2465 which was built to make our entire company and all our internet activities illegal.

SB 2465 is not just an attempt to make downloading firearms-related files illegal within the state of New Jersey, it is a hilarious attempt to make *any* website in the world hosting such files illegal if someone from New Jersey can find *any* way to access it. Or at least this would be hilarious if the federal judiciary wasn’t totally spineless.

More than the attempt to censor the entire Internet by mere state law, the statute makes it illegal to “share” and “offer” and “distribute” files from person to person via any means, not just the Internet. DEFCAD is now down again because of this outright and strict liability ban on advertising and mailing digital files. No judicial power will yet assist us.

New Jersey can sue us in federal court in WA and say DD has the right to mail files to users of DEFCAD, while it can sue us in state court under the theory that mailing or sending files to residents of their state violates public nuisance law. All the while, they can create and attempt to enforce a new criminal law that makes it a felony advertise or offer our sites or files on the Internet.

If you are reading this message and from or in New Jersey, know that if we simply showed you a link to a working DEFCAD marketplace, or emailed you about the same, we would all now face criminal liability.

We will be making updates on this situation here. Please Join LEGIO to support us in our efforts.

Since Jan. 1 2021, no warrants have been served to principals or employees. No searches or seizures have been performed on assets.