PI Hearing in Defense Distributed vs. Grewal
January 3, 2019
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.”
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.