Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the Republican now running for governor, did not sign the letter.
DeWine says ‘it is legal to make a gun’
“My lawyers in the Attorney General’s office tell me that it is legal to make a gun, it’s not legal to sell it under certain circumstances without a permit,” he said. “My understanding is that is what the law is so I did not sign on.”
Democrat Richard Cordray, his opponent and a former attorney general, said on Twitter: “Mike DeWine’s position could allow criminals and the mentally ill to print their own guns at home and severely hamper our law enforcement officers from being able to do their jobs.”
Court orders issued late Tuesday temporarily block Defense Distributed and its founder, Cody Wilson, from uploading the instruction sets to the Internet.
Three-dimensional printers create objects based on computer file directions, using plastic filament. Printers can be purchased for home use or people can make arrangements to use 3-D printers at maker-space workshops.
There is no sign that the GOP-controlled Ohio General Assembly will take up the matter any time soon.
Federal vs. state issue
Jim Irvine of Buckeye Firearms Association says that’s the right course of action. “I don’t see how any state has a dog in that hunt. It’s a federal issue,” he said.
He added that there are easier ways to obtain firearms than downloading computer files and using a 3-D printer. “Your criminal is not going to go do this because they do not have the material or money or expertise to do this. It’s way easier to buy one or steal one.”
Toby Hoover of the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence said Ohio should join other states that are pushing to block the posting of the instruction files.
“No serial numbers, they’re not traceable. They can be used in crimes and really hinder law enforcement,” she said of the printed guns. “It opens up something that allows anyone to do it. So you have felons that are prohibited (from possessing guns) could make them.”