American received 8 years in prison for a rifle printed on a 3D printer

A Texas federal district court sent Eric McGinnis, 42, to prison for eight years for finding an unregistered rifle and ammunition on him. McGinnis could not and did not want to register them, because he purposefully deceived the law, creating a dangerous precedent. He himself does not consider himself guilty, because "he did not buy the forbidden, but printed it himself."

In 2015, after a violent altercation with a girl, McGinnis received a punishment that included a two-year ban on possession of firearms. This is a serious test for a resident of the most armed state of the United States, but all attempts to buy not even weapons, but parts to secretly assemble a rifle, have failed. McGinnis realized that as long as his name was in the database, this path was closed to him. And then he bought a 3D printer and started studying the schemes of printed weapons.

Using both printed and hand-machined parts, McGinnis assembled a rifle that was structurally similar to the AR-15. The cartridges remained from a past life and at the end of 2017 he went into the forest to try out his product. Unfortunately for the craftsman, the shots attracted the attention of the police, who arrested the shooter and confiscated his homemade product. McGinnis was let down by his fervor - he had only a month until the end of the ban.

In theory, an experienced lawyer could confuse the case by taking advantage of a loophole in the law. McGinnis actually tricked Themis by bypassing identity checks when he acquired a gun. But the ban extended to the possession, not the receipt of weapons, and besides, they found a terrorist brochure with an appeal to exterminate American officials. And in an attempt to justify himself, the Texan said too much, lying to the police about his status as an FBI agent and an order to test a prototype weapon. As a result, two years of a ban on gun ownership turned into eight years in prison.