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Amazon has removed downloadable plans for 3D-printed guns from its site, explaining the material violates its content guidelines, CNN reports.

The details: The Seattle-based e-commerce company said it removed the $20 book, "The Liberator Code Book: An Exercise in the Freedom of Speech," which appeared on its website earlier this month. But the author, CJ Awelow, is fighting back claiming that "code is speech," and and explains "proceeds will be used to fight for free speech and the right to bear arms."

The backdrop: Amazon's move comes on the heels of an ongoing multi-state court challenge against the Trump administration, which allowed Defense Distributed, a Texas-based pro-gun group, to publish the files online. The suit, led by Washington, said the undetectable 3D-printed firearms are a threat to public safety and that terrorists could use the plastic weapons to evade detection.

What's happening: As challengers are seeking a permanent nationwide injunction to block the public from downloading the blueprints, private companies like Amazon are making their own decisions.

  • Facebook earlier this month announced that websites hosting downloadable files for 3D-printed guns are prohibited from using its platform.
  • Some leading 3D-printing companies are using gun-blocking software to prevent people from printing guns, NPR reports.
  • Pennsylvania officials had won a temporary agreement last month to bar its residents from downloading the plans.

In response to Amazon’s move, Defense Distributed tweeted late Wednesday: "Sadly the book has been taken off of Amazons webstore. This is [once] again a huge blow to our first amendment. If you want change, act now."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

North Korea claims latest missile test new weapon launched from submarine

North Korean state media claims the country's military fired this missile on Tuesday. Photo: Korean Central News Agency

North Korean state media announced that a detected ballistic missile launch off its east coast on Tuesday was a newly developed weapon test-fired from a submarine.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches into the sea happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Manchin's massive means test

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is offering progressives a trade: He'll vote for their cherished social programs if they accept strict income caps for the recipients, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Manchin’s plan to use so-called means-testing for everything from paid family medical leave to elder and disabled care would drastically shrink the size and scope of the programs. It also would bring a key moderate vote to the progressive cause.

The China whisperer

Nick Burns. Photo: Chen Mengtong/China News Service via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee for ambassador to China will face aggressive questioning Wednesday about the most important, and potentially perilous, bilateral relationship in the world.

Why it matters: While Nick Burns is an experienced diplomat with support on both sides of the aisle, lawmakers want to use his confirmation hearing to force the administration into some tough positions on China.