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Dane County Sheriff shares concern about 3D guns

MADISON (WKOW) — Although a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order that stopped the release of blueprints describing how to make a 3D printed gun, several lawmakers and law enforcement agencies are raising concerns if they should ever be released. 

"I don’t think they should be allowed in the first place," said Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney as he referred to the 3D weapons. 

The plastic guns, which are printed and sometimes require small metal pieces could be made to fire bullets. 

"What’s concerning is that it’s one more opportunity to create a facsimile firearm that may fall into the wrong hands," said Mahoney. 

However, Mahoney is even worried about the plastic lookalike 3D guns that can’t fire a bullet as he sent out a warning about whose hands the 3D guns to land in. 

"We’ve seen incidents across this country where children, armed with a firearm or a facsimile firearm, have been shot by law enforcement officers," Mahoney said. 

Some 3D printing companies, like Midwest Prototyping in Blue Mounds, vow to never print 3D guns even if someone brings in a blueprint. Still, Mahoney said he’s worried about individuals who may have a 3D printer at home with the knowledge on how to do so. 

"The ability to just download and create a 3D facsimile of a firearm — for what purpose," said Mahoney. 

The plastic guns would also be untraceable, with no current legislation requiring serial numbers or background checks to have one. 

Sheriff Mahoney is now asking lawmakers to create laws that will protect the constituents they serve. 

"What they need to do is use common sense and create laws that would prevent the 3D duplication of these firearms. In the end, I’m confident this would result in the loss of life of a child," Mahoney added. 

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