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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 10/02/2018 in Firearm News

3-D Gun Printing Founder Facing Criminal Charges

3-D Gun Printing Founder Facing Criminal Charges

Cody Wilson, the man credited with creating 3-D Gun Printing, has left the company he founded. 

Wilson faces criminal charges of having sex with a minor. He is accused of paying a 16-year-old girl for sex in Austin, TX. He was in Thailand at the time of his arrest. As of this report, he is free on a $150,000 bail. 

Wilson founded Defense Distributed. His company distributed 3-D Gun Printing plans. The company was, and is, involved in a legal battle over these files. The federal Justice Department has attempted to block distribution of those gun plans after Wilson declared the plans were in the public domain. Despite being taken down from the company website, the plans are still readily available online in various forums and other websites. 

Paloma Heindorff, the company’s director of development, announced she is taking over Wilson's duties at the company. 


With the advent of cheap 3D printers, all manner of items are being cranked out on these printers that use a polymer to create plastic objects. Wilson later developed plans for an AR15 and an AK47 lower. These plans are also available online in forums and other websites that picked up Wilson's works when the legal battles began. 

Some people are making shotgun shells and projectiles for reloading. 

Metal 3D printers are also available, with costs running from just over $3K to $40,000 and up. While no one has offered gunner printing plans for 3D metal printers publicly, it is likely such plans are available on the Dark Web

Wilson's first gun was a single shot. 


Wilson and his company are also noted for the created of the Ghost Gunner milling machine. Ghost Gunner is a desktop mill that takes 80 percent completed receivers and turns them into ready-to-assemble firearms. 

The 80 percent receiver is not a gun according to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (BATF). Once milled out, it is considered a firearm. As long as an individual makes the receiver for his own use, it does not need a serial number. This is legal under federal law. Registration requirements and the legality of the finished receiver will vary by state. 

For practical purposes, the finished receiver is also not a gun. It must have a barrel and trigger-firing pin assembly at a minimum. In a single shot, the barrel functions as the bolt. Depending on the firearm, it may need other items in order to fire ammunition. 

Prior to the Ghost Gunner, milling out an 80 percent lower required a set of jigs and drilling equipment. Most people use a drill press, but given time and skill, the work can be done with hand tools. The Ghost Gunner eliminates this work. Place the 80 percent receiver in the mill case, start the computer program to begin the milling and check back periodically to clear metal shavings. 


Wilson is listed as an extremist by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The Center tracks hate groups and prominent individuals on all sides of the political divide throughout the United States and parts of the world. 

The SPLC's article on Wilson says in part "Cody Wilson’s trip down the rabbit hole of radical thought began in the aftermath of several mass shooting incidents. It led him to a confrontation with the U.S. State Department and positioned him as a merchant whose products exist solely to render moot any kind of gun safety regulation." He is also listed as the man behind Hatreon, a racist alt-right fundraising website. 

Louis Farrakhan, for instance, is one of the people the SPLC tracks as an extremist, but of a quite different stripe than Wilson. 


3-D Gun Printing is here. The ability to make receivers at home from metal and polymers is also here to stay. As more and more people experiment with these production methods, tolerances and manufacturing will get better.

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