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Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed parted ways as of Friday, September 21st, according to the new Director of Defense Distributed, Paloma Heindorff. The news came in a press conference held in Austin, Texas yesterday (September 25th).
Good morning, thank you for attending. My name is Paloma Heindorff, I’m the new director of Defense Distributed and CEO of Ghost Gunner. I spent last three years at DD working as director of development and VP of Operations.
Cody Wilson tendered his resignation on Friday evening to focus on personal legal affairs. Defense Distributed Board of Directors accepted his resignation and thus his role at the company has been concluded.
During the news conference, Heindorff continually emphasized that Wilson has no further involvement with Defense Distributed and that she would not answer any questions regarding his personal legal issues. She did say, “it was Cody Wilson’s decision to resign and Defense Distributed supported him in that.”
When she was asked by a reporter if anything in her views had changed on the case, Heindorff made a strong statement of her beliefs.
The same as we stood before. We believe in the right of people to have these files; we believe in our right to publish them. I believe very strongly in both the First and Second Amendment causes in the case. That’s where I stand. The same as where I stood a week ago.
Asked if she had spoken with Cody Wilson, she said, “Cody and I have been speaking. It is important for the transition. We still have some paperwork to do.”
Heindorff’s background is in the arts. When asked why she left New York and moved to Austin to work for Defense Distributed, she had this to say.
It’s the most effective and elegant activism I’d seen performed and I wanted to be a part of that. It’s just so beautiful, isn’t it, to exercise one’s rights like that and to do so in a way that pushes authorities to allow you to. Too often people are perturbed by threats, and I found it incredible that this company persisted.
Heindorff spoke about this in more detail at last year’s Gun Rights Policy Conference held in Dallas. You can see her comments in this video starting at about the 24:30 mark.
When asked about the case brought the attorney general of Washington State to prevent Distributed Defense from posting the files online , Josh Blackman emphasized that there was no change in the case. Later in the news conference, both he and attorney Chad Flores re-emphasized that they are DD’s attorney and that Cody Wilson has his own attorney for his issues. With regard to legal issues, all three pointed out that the approximately $400,000 raised for legal fees was for Defense Distributed and no monies were being used by Cody Wilson for her personal defense on charges of sex with a minor.
The change of leadership at Defense Distributed and Ghost Gunner has received attention across the spectrum. You have stories by the NY Times, Fox News, NPR, and the Austin Statesman. You have stories by Recoil, Ammoland, and TTAG. The story was also covered by tech industry publications like Ars Technica and Wired.
Heck, even the Brady Campaign released a statement concerning the change in leadership. The funny thing in their statement is their acknowledgement that the “Pandora’s box had been opened, and it won’t go away with Wilson.” Then they said they would continue to fight the threat. I find it funny that they realize the signal can’t be stopped and then in the next breath say they are going to fight it. There is nothing to compare to the posturing of the gun banners when they know the fight is futile.
The whole news conference is shown in the video below. The actual news conference begins at about the 2 minute mark.