Central New York, Community, Government, Health, Public Safety, Technology

Libraries with 3D Printers React to Release of Blueprints for Guns

Fayetteville Free Library was the first library in the country to build a maker space with 3D printers for patrons. © 2018 Natalie Maier

Click play to hear one local library’s policy when it comes to 3D printing guns. 

Audio Transcript: Libraries React to 3D Gun Blueprints

By Natalie Maier FAYETTEVILLE, N.Y. (NCC News) – A company in Austin, Texas has promised to release digital blueprints for 3D printing guns. The release is causing concern among gun control advocates, who think this could be just another way for consumers to bypass background checks and get access to assault rifles.

Many of the libraries in Onondaga County have 3D printers for patrons’ use. Katie Kaczorowski is the Director of Marketing at the Fayetteville Free Library, the first library in the country to have 3D printers for it’s patrons.

While it would seem that someone could use these public library printers to print a gun, Kaczorowski said it’s more complicated than that.

“In order for a patron to even come in and use the 3D printers here, they have to have an Onondaga County Public Library card,” she said. “Before they’re able to use any of the equipment in the maker space, they need to watch a video and take a quiz. They must speak to a staff member and the staff member will give them permission to use the 3D printer, only after they have been properly trained to use it.”

The FFL’s printing agreement specifically states that members may not use the 3D printers to make any type of weapon. Every member must sign the agreement before using the printers.

“We’ve had these regulations in place for a while,” Kaczorowski said. “It’s nothing new here.”

Kaczorowski said most of the people using printers are children or people testing prototypes of inventions. © 2018 Natalie Maier

Despite growing concerns amid the release of the blueprints, she said no one has ever tried to print a gun at the library. And she doesn’t think this will change anytime soon.

As of last night, a federal judge has temporarily blocked the release of the 3D blueprints for guns.