Technology tends to advance quicker than Congress can pass laws. For this reason, 3D printing has come under scrutiny in recent years. According to several concerned lawmakers, numerous felons, who are restricted from owning guns, have taken it upon themselves to create their own using this new tech.
In a landmark case, one such felon, Eric Gerard McGinnis, has been sentenced to spend the next eight years in jail for attempting to subvert our current firearms laws. McGinnis, a resident of Texas, was barred from owning firearms after being convicted in a domestic violence incident back in 2015.
Despite this, he still attempted to purchase a gun a year later. A background check revealed that he wasn’t permitted to own one, so his applications were denied. Distraught but not broken, McGinnis decided to latch onto 3D printing technology in an attempt to create his own.
The suspect reportedly obtained a grip, barrel, upper receiver and stock. Then, he used a 3D printer and blueprints he found online to assemble a makeshift AR-15 weapon. Pleased with himself, he took his gun out into the woods and began testing it.
When neighbors heard the shots, they reached out to police. Officers arrived and found the suspect with both his weapon and a “hit list.” The list named out Republican and Democratic lawmakers, and their home addresses. His hit list was called, “9/11/2001 list of American Terrorists.”
Now, he’s been sentenced to eight years behind bars for his actions. Democratic officials are using this case as an example of why we need more laws to prevent 3D firearm blueprints from being published online.