SPRINGFIELD — Republican Austin Petersen is giving away a machine which can make untraceable gun parts.
He says this is not a stunt, but rather a stand for the rights of the people.
“We just do it as a giveaway. You don’t have to pay anything to sign up. You can just sign up, we’ll take your information, and you’ll be randomly drawn out,” Petersen says.
As an outspoken supporter of gun rights in his campaign, Petersen has called himself the most pro-second amendment candidate in the country.
Petersen is giving away a Ghost Gunner 2, and unlike a regular 3-D Printer, it does not rely on plastic.
“Basically what it does, is it mills metal. It allows you to create the under-barrel, underneath the gun, which is called a lower. It allows you to mill that into a fully functional gun, or at least what the ATF classifies as a firearm,” Petersen says.
Former ATF Special Agent David Chipman tells CBS News that he takes issue with the distribution of these machines that produce unregulated and untraceable parts.
“We are basically handing the keys to the store to terrorist and armed criminals. I guarantee you five to ten years from now this is going to be a real threat to public safety,” Chipman says.
Petersen acknowledges that it is a controversial move since the machine can print untraceable gun parts, but explains why he is fully within the law.
“The reason why it’s controversial is because you are legally allowed to create a gun that does not contain a serial number,” Petersen says.
The machine’s creator, Cody Wilson with Defense Distributed, won a recent court case to be able to distribute his machines after the State Department forced him to take down his blueprints about 5 years ago.
While Petersen’s campaign move could be seen as a stand for the second amendment, he says it really is about the first amendment.
“It is the creation of the firearm that is really at discussion here. Information — speaking freely — is enshrined in the first amendment of the constitution. Sharing blueprints or software about how a gun is manufactured is legal. It always has been,” says Petersen.
The winner of that giveaway will be drawn on Primary Day on August 7th.
Petersen hopes to win the primary to become the Republican candidate for Missouri’s Senate race in November.