The opinion issued on Tuesday, September 20 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in Defense Distributed, Second Amendment Foundation Inc. v. U.S. Dept. of State resolved for now an ongoing effort to obtain a preliminary injunction allowing the public release through the internet of weapon designs/technical data for the 3D printing/manufacture of AR-15s or assault rifle parts.
As a legal matter, the opinion is relatively limited and merely holds:
“In sum, we conclude that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Plaintiffs-Appellants’ preliminary injunction based on their failure to carry their burden of persuasion on two of the three non-merits requirements for preliminary injunctive relief, namely the balance of harm and the public interest. We therefore affirm the district court’s denial and decline to reach the question of whether Plaintiffs-Appellants have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.” Defense Distributed v. Dept. of State, ___ F.3d ___, slip op. at 13 (5th Cir. Sept. 20, 2016). http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/electronic-case-filing/case-information/current-opinions
That said, in light of the lengthy dissent and the following quoted statement from the Court of Appeals, one might anticipate further legal challenge in the Fifth Circuit and to the Supreme Court: Continue reading