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Dispute over 3D-printed guns raises legal questions

FILE - In this May 10, 2013, file photo, Cody Wilson, the founder of Defense Distributed, shows a plastic handgun made on a 3D-printer at his home in Austin, Texas. Eight states filed suit Monday, July 30, 2018, against the Trump administration over its decision to allow a Texas company to publish downloadable blueprints for a 3D-printed gun, contending the hard-to-trace plastic weapons are a boon to terrorists and criminals and threaten public safety. (Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP, File)

A little-known dispute over 3D-printed guns has morphed into a national legal debate in the last week, drawing attention to a technology that seems a bit of sci-fi fantasy and — to gun-control advocates — a dangerous way for criminals to get their hands on firearms that are easy to conceal and tough to detect.

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