Meet Cody Wilson, the Austin man behind the fight over 3D-printed guns –

Posted: 2:54 p.m. Friday, August 10, 2018

Cody Wilson found his calling when, in 2013, he successfully fired the first gun made on a 3D printer.

That very week, he dropped out of his second year at the University of Texas Law School, which wasn’t much of a sacrifice because he’d pretty much stopped attending classes as his interests were captured by a revolutionary idea: The internet was more powerful than governments, gun-control advocates and regulations limiting the ownership of firearms.

“I chose to print the gun. That’s a choice that you can’t back away from,” Wilson, 30, said from the North Austin office and manufacturing center of Defense Distributed, the company he founded to expand the availability of do-it-yourself weaponry. “When you’ve got a better idea, you can’t just stay in class all day.”

RELATED: 3D-printer gun plans proliferate despite court action

Wilson posted how-to plans for his gun online and said he wanted to do the same for future 3D-printed firearms, launching a national debate — and a still-raging legal battle — over the wisdom of creating largely plastic weapons that would be difficult to detect and impossible to trace without serial numbers required for most other manufactured weapons.

Police, security experts and politicians were aghast, calling plastic-based guns the perfect firearm for assassins, terrorists, felons, domestic abusers and others legally barred from gun ownership.

But for Wilson, do-it-yourself guns were a logical extension of crypto-anarchy, a philosophy he embraced that seeks to use a free internet and encryption technology to reduce government influence over people’s lives.

“I will continue to fight anyone who will try to sue me and say that I can’t do this,” he said.

Wilson’s manufacturing plans for his 3D-printed gun, a single-shot pistol he called the Liberator, were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the

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