GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A Texas man police found in the woods with a partially 3-D printed AR-15 rifle and a list of federal lawmakers’ addresses in his backpack was sentenced to eight years in federal prison.
Eric McGinnis was convicted last summer of possessing an unregistered short-barreled rifle. He also was found guilty of unlawfully possessing ammunition while subject to an active protective order that had been issued because of a 2015 altercation with a girlfriend.
McGinnis, who sentenced Wednesday, tried to buy a semiautomatic rifle in 2016 but was turned away because of the protective order, prosecutors said. According to the Dallas Morning News, McGinnis instead used a 3-D printer to create the firing mechanism for an AR-15.
Investigators said McGinnis admitted in a jailhouse phone call to a family member that he’d printed part of the gun.
“I didn’t buy a gun, I built the gun,” he said in the recorded phone call, according to prosecutors. “The upper, I printed a lower, and I built it — installed the trigger and did all that stuff. I built it.”
McGinnis’ attorneys argued that McGinnis should not have lost his right to own guns because of the protective order.
When McGinnis was arrested in July 2017, police found a list labeled “9/11/2001 list of American Terrorists.” Investigators said the list included addresses of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers.
Prosecutors said Wednesday that they believe McGinnis had an interest in James Hodgkinson, the man who shot several Republican lawmakers at a congressional baseball practice in Virginia in June 2017.
A U.S. judge in Seattle blocked the Trump administration in August 2018 from allowing a Texas company to post online plans for making untraceable 3D guns, agreeing with 19 states and the District of Columbia that such access to the plastic guns would pose a security risk.
The states sued to stop an agreement that the government had reached with Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, saying guidelines on how to print undetectable plastic guns could be acquired by felons or terrorists.
Owner of Austin, Texas-based Defense Distributed, Cody Wilson wanted to post plans online so that citizens could arm themselves without having to deal with licenses, serial numbers and registrations.
Wilson has said that “governments should live in fear of their citizenry.”