Facebook bans sites that host blueprints of 3D-printed guns

Sharing the files violates the social network's community standards.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou

A gun with 3D-printed parts

Defense Distributed

Facebook, the world's largest social network, said Thursday it's banning websites that host and share blueprints of 3D-printed guns.

"Sharing instructions on how to print firearms using 3D printers is not allowed under our Community Standards," said a company spokesperson in an email statement. "In line with our policies, we are removing this content from Facebook." BuzzFeed News reported the move earlier. 

This comes after a Seattle judge last week granted a temporary restraining order to block the online publication of 3D-printed gun designs. Nineteen state attorneys general, citing public safety concerns, have sued the US State Department and Defense Distributed -- creator of the blueprints -- for settling a prior lawsuit that allowed the free distribution of the blueprints.

However, the designs have been available online for years. According to the download counts on Defcad.com, the website of Defense Distributed that hosts the blueprints, the designs have been downloaded over 20,000 times.

In addition, the "Shop Now" link to the Defense Distributed Ghost Gunner -- a home tool that lets people make a key gun part out of metal and use that part to build an untraceable firearm -- still works on its Facebook page.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the Ghost Gunner.