3D printers can make toys, tools, even artificial limbs for those in need. But there are now concerns about more nefarious items like illegal 3D-printed guns.
WASHINGTON — Inside a small apartment last year in West Virginia, prosecutors said Timothy John Watson operated an online retailer named “Portable Wall Hanger.” But they say it was just “a front,” and Watson was actually selling “machine gun conversion devices,” which allow rifles to fire multiple shots with just one press of the trigger.
Authorities accuse Watson of making those devices with a 3D printer. Newly manufactured machine guns are illegal and the government accuses Watson of “Unlawfully Engaging in the Business of Manufacturing” them.
On top of that, court records allege Watson sold to people associated with the Boogaloo movement. They say “they are preparing for, or seek to incite, a second American Civil War,” according to the documents.
In court, Watson’s attorney said the West Virginia man is not a violent extremist and the devices he sold were in fact to be used as wall hangers.
Watson pled guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm silencer charge, but his…