North America

US 3D-printed gun advocate quits firm after child sex assault charge

0:00

Cody Wilson, the man behind the 3D-printed gun company Defense Distributed, has stepped down as CEO of the company.

The Texas man who sparked panic over the summer after freely distributing 3D-printed firearm blueprints on the internet resigned from the company he founded on Tuesday after he was accused of having sex with a minor.

Cody Wilson, 30, quit as director of Defense Distributed on Friday evening, according to its newly-appointed chief Paloma Heindorff. 

She said the company would continue its mission of disseminating information files that allow the 3D printing of firearms or firearm parts. 

"I am extremely proud to say that over the past few days the entire team at Defense Distributed has recommitted to enabling the sharing and publication" of the digital blueprints, Heindorff told a news conference. 

Paloma Heindorff is introduced as the new director of Defense Distributed at a news conference.
Paloma Heindorff is introduced as the new director of Defense Distributed at a news conference.
AP

"This resilience, I truly believe to not only be characteristic of our company as a whole, but also the ideas that we have worked so hard to promote."

Texas police last week charged Wilson with the sexual assault of a child. He is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl at a hotel room and then paying her $500. 

Wilson seemingly fled to Taiwan on September 6. Authorities became alarmed when he failed to catch a return flight home. He allegedly attempted to rent an apartment in Taipei. 

He was arrested Friday and brought back to Texas, and left jail Sunday after posting $150,000 bond. 

Through Defense Distributed, the self-described crypto anarchist made headlines over the summer by publishing the digital blueprints for 3D-printable guns and gun parts. 

Authorities were concerned that the firearms could thwart police attempts to trace their origins and evade metal detectors.

Cody Wilson walks out of the Harris County Jail in Houston.
Cody Wilson walks out of the Harris County Jail in Houston.
AP

A federal judge ordered Wilson to stop giving away the blueprints. Wilson said he would comply by instead selling the blueprints for a price.   

His company said Tuesday they would continue to do so without Wilson. 

"We understand that Defense Distributed has made some changes," Wilson's attorney Samy Khalil said in a statement. 

"We expect that the company will continue to grow and do its work. In the meantime, we plan to focus on Cody's defense." 

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch