July 30 (Reuters) - Nine U.S. states on Monday said they will jointly sue the Trump administration for allowing the public to download blueprints for 3-D printable guns, a last-ditch effort to block the online dissemination of the designs before they are expected to become available later this week.
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Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said at a news conference in Seattle that the states will ask a federal judge to issue a restraining order and an injunction to block the publication of the designs.
The states, Washington, New York and Pennsylvania among them, are working on finalizing the lawsuit and plan on filing it later on Monday, Ferguson said.
At issue is a June settlement between the U.S. government and Texas-based Defense Distributed which allowed the company to legally publish gun blueprints online, something its website says it plans to do by Aug. 1.
The government had until recently argued the blueprints posed a national security risk. Ferguson said the government failed to explain why it settled the case and allowed the publication of the blueprints.
"Our Congress has carefully crafted laws to protect us and in one moment, without any consultation with experts, the administration undoes it," Ferguson said during the news conference.
Under the Obama administration, the government initially ordered the blueprints taken down in 2013 and Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson sued in 2015, claiming his First Amendment and Second Amendment rights had been violated.
Gun control groups on Friday urged a federal judge to intervene before the designs are expected to go online. (Reporting by Tina Bellon; editing by Grant McCool)