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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 21, 2018

Federal Jury Convicts Grand Prairie Man on Firearm Charges

          DALLAS— Following a two-day trial, a federal jury convicted Eric Gerard McGinnis, 42, of Grand Prairie, Texas, of multiple firearm offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.

          Specifically, on Wednesday, a federal jury convicted McGinnis of possessing an unregistered short barrel rifle and unlawfully possessing ammunition while he was subject to an active protective order.  McGinnis will remain in custody pending sentencing, which is set for October 24, 2018, before U.S. Chief District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn.

          According to evidence presented at trial, a Dallas County court entered a two-year protective order against McGinnis on August 31, 2015, finding that he had committed family violence against a former girlfriend with whom he had lived.  The protective order also prohibited him from possessing firearms or ammunition.

            On July 28, 2017, officers from the Grand Prairie Police Department responded to the sound of gunshots in a wooded area near North Belt Line Road and East Palace Parkway.  There they found McGinnis carrying a backpack that contained an AR-15 rifle that had a receiver made using a 3D printer and had a barrel that was only ten inches long.  He also possessed 88 rounds of ammunition for the rifle.  McGinnis did not have the short barrel rifle registered to him in the National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record, which is the repository for registrations for weapons that must be registered under the National Firearms Act. 

          The evidence presented at trial also showed that McGinnis had attempted to purchase a receiver from a federal firearms licensee in 2016, but the transaction required a background check that rejected McGinnis based on the active protective order.

        The defendants’ sentence will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. 

          The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Grand Prairie Police Department investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Brian McKay and Rick Calvert are prosecuting the case.

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Janet Pearre janet.pearre@usdoj.gov 214-659-8600
Updated June 21, 2018