After receiving a letter from the State Department Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance this Thursday, Defense Distributed have removed the 3D files for the Liberator 3D printed gun from their site. After reporting that there has been a huge number of users who have downloaded the Liberator 3D printed gun files it seems that the authorities are taking a tough stance.
Along with the Liberator gun files, nine other design files for gun parts were also removed from DefCad, including CAD files for silencers, sights and bullet magazines. According to Forbes the government wants to review the files for compliance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) which control exports of arms from the U.S. The letter implies that as the gun files are uploaded to the internet, and can be downloaded abroad, Defense Distributed may have violated export controls.
“Until the Department provides Defense Distributed with final [commodity jurisdiction] determinations, Defense Distributed should treat the above technical data as ITAR-controlled,” reads the letter, referring to a list of ten CAD files hosted on Defcad, “This means that all data should be removed from public acces immediately. Defense Distributed should review the remainder of the data made public on its website to determine whether any other data may be similarly controlled and proceed according to ITAR requirements.”
As Defense Distributed have a license to produce firearms that was granted in March Cody Wilson, their founder, has decided to comply with the request and will await the outcome of the government’s review of the situation. Wilson is confident of coming through this process as he believes that Defense Distributed are excluded from the ITAR regulations due to an exemption for non-profit public domain releases of technical files.
Taking the files down from Defcad.ord may not prevent those files getting into the hands of the general public as the files were also hosted on the Mega file hosting website run by Kim Dotcom, and have also found their way onto the Pirate Bay filesharing site.