A Mississippi man used a 3D printer to make machine guns. Now he has to go to prison for 14 years.

A Jackson, Mississippi man has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for illegally making machine guns with 3D printers, according to the Justice Department.

Kent Edward Newhouse, 41, had already been convicted of a felony that made it illegal for him to own firearms. In 2022, he illegally owned firearms and used 3D printers to create a firearm component called “Auto Sear,” which turns a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic machine gun, according to the Justice Department called Thursday. Federal law designates auto-searers themselves as machine guns.

“On July 13, 2022, Newhouse sold a firearm and several Auto-Sears to a confidential informant,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Newhouse pleaded guilty in September to two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of doing business as a firearms manufacturer.

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Auto-Sears turn semi-automatic firearms into machine guns

3D printed by Newhouse, the Auto Sears are a type of conversion device that allows semi-automatic firearms to behave like machine guns, firing quickly without the need for repeated pulls of the trigger. They are tiny dime-sized pieces of metal or plastic that can be quickly attached to the back of a semi-automatic.

In places like Louisville, auto stations are popping up more frequently, according to the USA TODAY Network’s Courier Journal reported. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives reported that 120 of the devices in the city were seized in the first nine months of 2022, compared to about a dozen in 2021 and none in 2020.

The police said in the country’s capital The Washington Post that in 2021 weapons with automatic listening devices were recovered more frequently; Police seized 20 people this year, double the number in 2020.

“The use of 3D printers to illegally manufacture firearms and to manufacture devices to convert semi-automatic firearms into machine guns poses a real and current threat to our communities,” said the special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kurt told Thielhorn when Newhouse pleaded guilty.

Democrats target machine gun conversion devices

Congressional Democrats reinstated last month legislation They hope to help authorities prevent the importation and trade of conversion devices such as auto-searers and to report data about auto-searers in federal firearms tracking reports.

“Weapons conversion devices can turn ordinary handguns into deadly automatic weapons in less than a minute. “As we grapple with the gun violence epidemic in this country, nearly unlimited access to this type of deadly firearm is exactly what we don’t need,” said New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a co-sponsor of the Prevention of Firearms Act illegal arms trade by 2023. called in a statement on Monday.

A 2022 Investigation by Vice News and The Trace found that federal prosecutions in cases such as robberies, assaults and murders were increasingly seizing illegal auto thefts.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Mississippi man who used 3D printers to build machine guns was sentenced to 14 years in prison


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