Sharing files that can help anyone 3D print guns is now legal and protected as free speech.
That's the key takeaway from a major settlement between the US government and gun rights activist Cody Wilson in his attempts to distribute 3D-printed firearms.
On Tuesday, his legal team announced the settlement, calling it a "devastating blow" to the gun control lobby. "I consider it a truly grand thing," Wilson told Wired in an interview. "It will be an irrevocable part of political life that guns are downloadable and we helped to do that."
According to Wired, Wilson will relaunch his website, Defcad.com, later this month and upload his firearm blueprints.
Back in 2013, Wilson began uploading 3D printable CAD files to create a working plastic gun, called the "Liberator." This drew the attention of federal authorities; the US State Department demanded Wilson pull down the files, claiming he was violating an export rule on distributing secret military hardware.
In response, Wilson eventually took the US government to court; he's been arguing that the First Amendment protects his constitutional right to share the 3D files as free speech.