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Illegal 3D Printer Set-Up

Source: US Department of Justice / US DOJ

FRANKLIN, Ind. — You’ve heard about police being concerned about 3-D printed, illegal guns. A man from Franklin is headed to federal prison for trafficking those guns.

Federal agents began investigating Alexander Clark, 28, nearly two years ago. Detectives watched Clark for over a month, and it was during that time that Clark sold five Glock style pistols and an AR-15 lower receiver. Investigators learned these were made illegally with a 3-D printer.

Alexander Clark had also sold two machine gun conversion devices, which turn normal semiauto guns into fully automatic ones. These are also called “Glock switches” or “auto-sears.”

In August of 2022, agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gained a search warrant for Clark’s home. Inside, investigators found the 3-D printer and computer, plus multiple guns, silencers, and other accessories. Clark had seven machine guns, seven silencers, and 27 machine gun conversion devices.

Alexander Clark was arrested, charged, and eventually convicted of printing and trafficking firearms and Glock switches.

“Machine gun conversion devices are an urgent public safety challenge—an ordinary pistol equipped with a conversion device and an extended magazine can fire 31 rounds in just two seconds,” said Zachary Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana in a Friday press release, “criminals like this defendant exploit modern technology to illegally manufacture deadly weapons and illegally arm others, including felons and juveniles. The serious federal prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that our office is committed to making our communities safer by getting these devices off our streets and holding illegal gun traffickers accountable.”

Clark will spend two years in federal prison and will be on probation for three years after he’s released.