A notification on Defense Distributed’s website Thursday afternoon says the blueprints for the Liberator, the world’s first 3-D-printed handgun, have been removed by the U.S. Department of State Trade Controls.
The update reads, “DEFCAD files are being removed from public access at the request of the US Department of Defense Trade Controls. Until further notice, the United States government claims control of the information.”
After the gun was successfully fired Saturday, Defense Distributed uploaded blueprints to the Liberator for anyone to download for free. As the International Business Times reported earlier, the blueprints were downloaded more than 100,000 times after just two days.
The U.S. State Department has issued the following letter. In summary, the letter states that the Liberator may fall under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation and that Defense Distributed did not have the proper authorization to publish the blueprints. The State Department's letter also singles out several other 3D printing files, including blueprints for anti-tank warheads, a silencer, and a rifle scope.
While blueprints may not be available for download on Defcad, the Liberator's schematics have already been uploaded to the Pirate Bay and likely several other websites.
We will update this story as it develops.