Missouri Senate candidate giving away machine that can print untraceable guns

Missouri Senate candidate giving away machine that can print untraceable guns
© YouTube: Austin Petersen

A GOP Senate candidate in Missouri is raffling off a machine capable of printing untraceable gun parts as part of a push to demonstrate his support for the Second Amendment.

Austin Petersen’s campaign announced Tuesday that it would give away a Ghost Gunner 2, which allows users to print and assemble guns at home. The firearms are known as "ghost guns" because they are printed without serial numbers, rendering them untraceable by the government.

“I think the new prize may trigger a few more liberals and mainstream media than it did last time,” Petersen said in a release.

The candidate was briefly banned from Facebook after advertising giveaways of AR-15 rifles earlier in his campaign, as the social media network prohibits the exchange of firearms or ammunition between individuals. Petersen, a longtime libertarian, is running as a Republican on a pro-gun platform.

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The Ghost Gunner 2 and similar devices have been touted by gun supporters as a possible “end” to gun regulation. The giveaway comes days after the government reached a settlement with gun rights activists that will allow them to post and sell plans for 3D printed firearms online.

“This technology has the potential to send gun control into the ash heap of history,” Petersen said. “The government’s ability to control or ban guns will be obsolete.”

Petersen is one of 11 GOP candidates vying for the nomination to take on incumbent Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillStudy: 3 of every 10 House candidate websites vulnerable to hacks Unions see Missouri win as red state watershed US suspected Russia was behind 2016 cyberattacks against Swedish news organizations: report MORE (D) in the November general election.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) is the expected GOP primary front-runner in the state where Trump won by more than 18 points. Petersen criticized Hawley in the press release.

“Unlike my primary opponent Josh Hawley (R) who supports the regulation of firearms accessories, I have absolutely no compromise to offer on your Second Amendment rights,” Petersen said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that at least six Missouri political campaigns have raffled off guns in this year alone, and 22 such raffles were held in the 2016 election cycle.

Political candidates hosting similar giveaways have drawn criticism from gun control advocates following a series of mass shootings in recent months.