FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 10, 2018
Contact: David Carl (505) 288-2465
Multistate Letter Urges Trump Administration to Take Immediate Action
Albuquerque, NM – Today, Attorney General Hector Balderas joined a coalition of 22 state attorneys general in sending a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions demanding that the Department of State take immediate action to remove from several websites downloadable plans for 3D-printed guns that were illegally posted online.
“These plans put the safety of every New Mexican at risk; especially our children” said Attorney General Hector Balderas. “It would allow unsafe, untraceable and undetectable guns to easily make their way into the hands of dangerous criminals.”
Attorney General Balderas’ number one focus is protecting New Mexican children. The Attorney General’s Office is in the midst of a statewide push to New Mexico’s teachers and school staff on the dangers of human trafficking across New Mexico, and how to spot trafficking in their schools. These plans put those very same children at risk.
The letter criticizes the Department of State’s failure to mitigate the harms of its settlement with Defense Distributed, an online company that was authorized by the federal government to post plans for 3D-printed guns online. Last week, a multistate lawsuit filed by nine state attorneys general seeking to stop the Department of State’s action won a temporary restraining order from a federal judge in Seattle, blocking the publication of downloadable plans online. Eleven other state AGs have since joined that lawsuit.
In the letter, the state attorneys general call on Secretary Pompeo and AG Sessions to take steps to ensure that Defense Distributed’s files are not available to anyone, especially those who pose a threat to public safety. This letter comes at a time when law enforcement agencies across New Mexico are facing increasing challenges in protecting communities from gun violence, in particular, in our schools. This includes recent reports of militant extremists training young children to commit violence in schools. Preventing easy access to weapons is a critical issue facing law enforcement today.
A multistate coalition sent a letter last week urging AG Jeff Sessions and Secretary Pompeo to withdraw from the settlement with Defense Distributed, writing that it recklessly disregards public safety. AG Sessions and Secretary Pompeo have yet to respond to the state AGs’ concerns and have not indicated any willingness to confront the urgent public safety risk posed by 3D-printed firearms.
Joining AG Balderas in today’s coalition are state attorneys general from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
# # #