NPR reports on the arrest and sentencing of a man found with a partially 3D printed AR-15.
Following a domestic violence charge, Eric Gerard McGinnis was barred by a Texas judge from possessing a firearm back in 2015. About a year later, “McGinnis tried to buy a gun anyway, but the purchase wouldn’t go through after a background check revealed the court order.”
Undeterred, McGinnis chose to 3D print his own gun, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. McGinnis “obtained a barrel, stock, upper receiver and grip — and then used a 3D printer to create the gun’s firing mechanism. He assembled the parts into a short-barrel AR-15 style rifle and headed out into the woods with what federal attorneys called a ‘hit list’ of Democratic and Republican lawmakers, including their office and home addresses. The list was titled, ‘9/11/2001 list of American Terrorists.’”
After officers heard three gunshots fired out in the woods, they arrested McGinnis in 2017. He has now been given an eight year sentence. U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Erin Nealy Cox summed up the case succinctly: “when he realized he couldn’t legally purchase a firearm, McGinnis circumvented our gun laws by 3D printing his weapon, eliminating the need for a background check.”
In related news, the same week McGinnis was being sentenced; Democratic legislation was being proposed in the U.S. Senate. Due to Republican control of the Senate, this legislation will likely die, but its aim is to “maintain current laws against publishing 3D printed gun information” online.
“The Senate Democrats criticized President Trump’s proposal to transfer oversight of 3D guns to the Commerce Department, arguing this would make it easier for people to get access to blueprints.”
As Democratic Senator of Connecticut Chris Murphy argued: “the Trump administration basically gave anyone – including criminals and murderers – a green light to 3D print and sell untraceable ‘ghost guns.’ Thankfully, the courts have blocked this for now, but Congress needs to act to close this glaring loophole before anyone gets killed.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of NPR