Man gets 8 years after being caught with a 3D-printed rifle and a hit list of lawmakers

Posted at 6:19 AM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 08:19:43-05

A Dallas man was sentenced to eight years in prison after he was arrested with a partially 3D-printed rifle and a hit list of lawmakers’ addresses in his backpack, federal officials said.

At the time of Eric Gerard McGinnis’ arrest in July 2017, he was under a court order prohibiting him from possessing a firearm, US Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said Wednesday.

Authorities said he was detained in a wooded area near Dallas with a partially 3D-printed AR-15 rifle.

“Grand Prairie (Texas) police officers, out on another call, heard three shots fired and eventually located him just off a major road,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

“Ordered to put his hands up, Mr. McGinnis falsely claimed to be a member of the CIA. Body-cam video shows that officers directed him to kneel on the pavement, cuffed him and shortly thereafter, inspected his backpack.”

In the backpack, the officers discovered the loaded gun and a list that included office and home addresses of federal lawmakers who were both Democrats and Republicans, officials said.

In a jailhouse phone call, he admitted he’d printed part of the gun, according to authorities.

“I didn’t buy a gun, I built the gun,” he said in the recorded phone call. “The upper, I printed a lower, and I built it — installed the trigger and did all that stuff. I built it.”

A jury found him guilty of possessing an unregistered short barrel rifle and unlawfully possessing ammunition while subject to a protective order.

Court order barred him from having firearms for 2 years

Two years before his arrest, a county judge enacted a protective order against McGinnis after a violent altercation with a live-in girlfriend. It barred him from possessing firearms or ammunition for two years.

He tried to buy a semi-automatic rifle component at a federally licensed gun shop in June 2016, but it was rejected after a background check uncovered the order, authorities said.

Instead, he obtained a barrel, stock, upper receiver and grip, then used a 3D printer to create the gun’s firing mechanism, according to authorities. He assembled the parts to construct a short-barrel AR-15-style rifle.

In July 2017, with one month left on his protective order, he took the gun to a wooded area outside Dallas, where police arrested him.

“This case should send a message to prohibited persons contemplating acquiring guns by any method,” said Cox, the US attorney for the Northern District of Texas. “This office is committed to keeping guns out of the hands of those who violate protective orders for domestic violence, no matter how the guns are obtained — by theft, purchase or 3D printing.”