Cody Wilson put his thumb in the eye of every anti-gunner with his 3D printer files and the Ghost Gunners, CNC machines that create receivers for popular firearms in the privacy of your own home. Wilson was a leading voice in the effort to decentralize gun manufacturing and is the man behind the most complete 3D printed gun out there.
However, he also ran afoul of the law in the most disgraceful way.
That forced him away from the company he founded. It doesn’t mean he stayed away, though.
Gun-rights activist Cody Wilson told the Washington Free Beacon he will be returning to Defense Distributed, a company that manufactures machines that make gun parts, after striking a plea deal in his sex-crime case.
Wilson said he was invited back by Paloma Heindorff, who took over the company after Wilson was arrested in 2018 for paying an underage girl for sex. He also said that the company would be launching a new Ghost Gunner milling machine designed to help manufacture firearm parts on a DIY and small-business scale.
Wilson’s return will put him back at the center of the legal battle over homemade firearms — and just how far Second Amendment protections extend. He has for years now been at the center of several lawsuits seeking to curtail the distribution of firearms blueprints online.
His new brainchild will produce finished gun parts for popular firearms like the AR-15 and 1911 using basic templates and raw materials but will work faster than previous models — and manufacture steel AK-47 parts as well.
“It’s got twice the build volume,” Wilson told the Free Beacon in an interview. “It supports the AK-47 now. It has a variable frequency drive … It’s a totally different animal.”
Amid this legal controversy, Wilson was accused of paying $500 to a girl under the age of 17 for sex through a website in August 2018.
In September 2019, the judge in Wilson’s case accepted a plea deal which reduced the charge to injury to a child. Under the plea deal, first published by Ars Technica, Wilson was sentenced to no prison time but must register as a sex offender, attend sex offender therapy, pay a $1,200 fine, and refrain from contacting the victim, among other conditions.
The victim’s mother had some very harsh comments for Wilson, which are neither here nor there.
Wilson’s return is an interesting development. For one, the charge he pled down to, “injury to a child,” is a felony. Having a felon involved in a project that produces guns is problematic, to say the least. Of course, Defense Distributed doesn’t actually make guns, they make machines that make guns, so there is a layer of insulation between Wilson and potentially violating the law.
Then again, Wilson says he’s not a felon.
Wilson insisted that despite laws that prohibit felons and others from owning firearms and previous reports to the contrary, he would still be able to possess them.
“I’m definitely not a prohibited person,” he said. “I haven’t taken a conviction. There’s no felony record. Travis County doesn’t treat me as having lost my voting or my firearms rights.”
“Even if I wasn’t allowed to own firearms, I could still run this company,” he added. “This company deals with software and components that aren’t firearms.”
Frankly, though, it doesn’t matter. Wilson’s name is now stained as a sex offender, at least for now, and that’s going to give his opponents ammunition.
Then again, it’s not like Wilson has ever been particularly worried about what his enemies my say about him, either.
For what it’s worth, if I had the cash, I’d be making a deposit right now for the Ghost Gunner 3. Especially since something like that makes gun control even more meaningless than it already is.