August 6, 2018 | An article by Professor Barry P. McDonald, titled “Don’t let the government censor blueprints for 3-D-printed guns,” has been published in The Washington Post. The article examines the challenge of determining what sorts of instructional speech will cause sufficient harm to warrant suppression.
Excerpt from The Washington Post:
Skepticism that government officials can accurately balance the good and ill effects of speech is properly reflected in the Supreme Court’s free speech rulings. While the court has never addressed what protection is reserved for potentially harmful instructional speech, it has only recognized a few narrow categories of speech that can be restricted on the basis of harm, such as inciting immediate acts of violence.
Moreover, the court recently said it will refuse to recognize any new proscribable categories of speech unless it can be proved they never enjoyed First Amendment protection. This effectively means that the government would likely face an extremely heavy burden of showing that a ban on instructions for 3-D-printed guns was necessary to avert harm.
The complete article may be found here