AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The founder of a Texas company that sells blueprints for making untraceable 3-D printed guns has resigned from the firm after being arrested on charges of having sex with an underage girl, the company announced Tuesday.
Cody Wilson tendered his resignation to his own company Friday evening to tend to “personal matters,” said Paloma Heindorff, director of development for Austin-based Defense Distributed. The company is at the center of a lawsuit filed by several states trying to shut down the firm.
Heindroff said she would be taking over Wilson’s duties as director of the company and was a strong believer in the Second Amendment. She said she wouldn’t comment on the criminal charges against the 30-year-old Wilson.
“I’m a different person,” she said during a news conference. “I’m not trying to replace him as a character.”
She said his leaving “was his own decision and we support it,” adding: “Going forward, as it stands, he has no role in the company.”
Investigators allege Wilson met the 16-year-old girl through the website SugarDaddyMeet.com. According to an affidavit, the girl said they met in the parking lot of an Austin coffee shop in August and then drove to a hotel. The girl told investigators that Wilson paid her $500 after they had sex and then dropped her off at a Whataburger restaurant.
He was arrested in Taiwan and brought back to the U.S. over the weekend. He has since been freed on $150,000 bond.
Nineteen states and the District of Columbia had sued the Trump administration to dissolve a settlement it reached with Defense Distributed over allowing it to disseminate its designs for making a 3D-printable gun. The lawsuit was backed mostly by Democratic state attorneys general argued that such weapons could be used by criminals or terrorists.
Last month, a federal court in Seattle barred Wilson from posting the designs online for free. He then began selling them for any amount of money to U.S. customers through his website. Heindroff said there are no plans to stop doing that. She said morale at the firm remains high.
Wilson, a self-described “crypto-anarchist,” has said “governments should live in fear of their citizenry.”
Law enforcement officials worry the guns are easy to conceal and are untraceable because there is no requirement for the firearms to have serial numbers. Gun industry experts have said the printed guns are a modern method of legally assembling a firearm at home without serial numbers.