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High-Tech Gun Activists Plan to Make Rifle Parts at Texas Capitol

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In Austin, Texas, gun rights activists plan to gather on Jan. 13 at the State Capitol to press lawmakers to pass more permissive open-carry laws. Besides protest signs and their own guns, they are also bringing a machine: the Ghost Gunner. It's made by Defense Distributed, the Austin-based company that made headlines after 3-D printing the "Liberator" plastic gun. Come And Take It Texas (CATI), the group behind the rally, will use it to carve the metal receivers used in AR-15 rifles. "Anybody can purchase one of these to print firearms in their own homes," Murdoch Pizgatti, president of CATI, told NBC News. He expects "several thousand" people to show up at the rally, with many openly carrying rifles. While the main purpose of the rally is to support H.B. No. 195 (a law that would let Texans open-carry handguns), Pizgatti also wants to protest ATF attempts to regulate machines like the Ghost Gunner that let people create gun parts using blueprints freely available on the Internet. It's a tool that allows people with limited technical knowledge to fabricate rifle receivers, the most regulated part of the gun. But Pizgatti said it should not be regulated any differently than other tools that people might use. "It's an overreach of power, like if the government said you can't use someone's screwdriver to work on their gun."

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