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Local libraries have policies prohibiting 3-D printing of guns

Policies ban printing weapons
Posted at 5:49 PM, Jul 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-31 18:19:13-04

It may be legal to download plans to make guns on 3-D printers starting Wednesday, but finding a place to make those guns may not be as easy as walking into your local library.  Both Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Public Libraries have policies banning the printing of weapons.

"Our patron conduct requires that you cannot bring a gun into the library," said Robin Wood, Assistant Director of Public Services for Cleveland Public Libraries.  "So obviously we could not let you print a weapon in the library either."

On Tuesday, a spokesman for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine also confirmed the state would not be joining others suing to block the online posting of the plans.

"Neither Ohio nor federal law prohibits law-abiding citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights to make their own guns for personal use," read a statement from the AG's Office.

In fact, for decades, it's been legal for people to make their own guns. Selling those guns does require a license.

But the Cleveland office of the ATF says it's rare to find a homemade gun at a crime scene in Northeast Ohio.

"That's not to say it couldn't become a problem, especially if firearms are easier to manufacture using these computer technologies," said Suzanne Dabkowski, Public Information Officer for the Columbus Field Division of ATF.  "We'll just have to try to keep a vigilant eye on it."

She says a potential problem for the ATF would be that printed guns likely would not have serial numbers or other information that would allow law enforcement to trace them if they're used in a crime.

Yet, with some predicting it would cost more than $1,000 to print a gun, Dabkowski says it's likely criminals will find other ways to get their guns.

Anyone already banned from having a firearm because of a criminal past would also be banned from making a gun for themselves according to the ATF.