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US libraries suspend 3D printer use amid gun concerns; ALA updates policy

In the US state of Florida, 38 library branches in Broward County have suspended the use of 3D printers this week over concerns that they could be used to make guns or other weapons, reports the Sun Sentinel.

The decision comes after a non-fatal shooting outside a public library in the county early last week, another incident where a library patron requested to use a library’s printer to create a part for an AR-15 rifle, and controversy surrounding Texas-based gun company Defence Distributed’s legal claim to be allowed to post plans for 3D-printed firearms online.

Broward Library director Kelvin Watson said that he wanted to be ‘cautious’ in light of the shooting and have policies in place that would ‘protect the county’.

Subsequently, the American Library Association (ALA) has issued an update on its policies and best practices regarding the use of 3D printers in libraries.

The update stated: ‘Libraries should be aware that the settlement agreement allowing online distribution of the plans is not binding on libraries and does not confer a right to use those plans to create guns on library 3D printers in violation of library policy or in violation of the applicable law regulating the manufacture or distribution of guns in the United States.’


Category: Library news International