A legal battle is raging over whether blueprints for making guns on a 3D printer should be made available to the public.

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Seattle temporarily blocked a Texas-based nonprofit, Defense Distributed, from publishing instructions online to make weapons like handguns and assault rifles on a 3D printer. The weapons, which are made from plastic and do not have serial numbers, are difficult for law enforcement to trace and detect.

Medical ethicist Arthur Caplanworries that making the blueprints public and easily accessible will lead to an increased number of gun deaths in the United States — not just from homicides, but from suicides as well. More than 60% of gun-related deaths in the country are suicides, and gun suicides are on the rise.

"People are not just going to make these weapons to defend themselves. There are people who are going to make these weapons to kill themselves," Caplan told Boston Public Radio.

Caplan believes that companies like Defense Distributed and other internet outlets that publish gun blueprints should be held liable for anyone injured or harmed by a gun printed with these instructions.

"I think you could say, 'You're accountable. You put this stuff up there, you're going to pay the price,'" Caplan said.