Utah man threatened to commit mass school shooting with 3D-printed gun: police

A man in Utah is reportedly facing a criminal charge after threatening to carry out a school shooting with a gun made by a 3D printer. 

The Deseret News reported on Tuesday that Austin James David West was charged with making a threat of violence after being arrested by police earlier this month. 

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According to a Salt Lake County Jail report, police said they arrested West on Aug. 8 after he communicated with another student "about using a gun to shoot students at Broadview University." 

"The statements were forwarded to the university, which caused the university dean to be fearful that a school shooting was actually going to take place. An email had to be sent to faculty and students warning them of the threat of a shooting at the school. The school chose to remain open," the report stated, according to the Deseret News. 

The newspaper noted that a search warrant affidavit unsealed on Tuesday said that text messages sent by West referenced killing people with a "3D printed gun so the gun could not be traced back to him."

"The message contained images of what appears to be a male in a video holding a rifle while standing over another male that is lying on the ground," the warrant reads. 

West's home was served with a warrant on Aug. 8. Police seized a 3D printer during their search of the residence, the Deseret News reported. 

The news regarding West's threat comes as public officials continue to debate issues related to 3D printed guns. 

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik on Monday upheld a ban on publishing instructions to 3D print guns. But the owner of a company that makes blueprints for them told The Associated Press that he has already begun selling instructions online. 

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said previously that he would prosecute those who produce untraceable 3D printed weapons. The Department of Justice opposed Lasnik's original injunction, however.