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Guns can’t be made on Mesa library 3D printers, regardless of court rulings

(Screenshot/Mesa Public Library THINKspot)

PHOENIX — Even before a federal judge blocked online instructions for them, an East Valley city’s library system prohibited anyone from producing guns with its 3D printers.

Two Mesa libraries have THINKSpot areas, which provide access and training for various tech innovations, including 3D printers.

“Participants in THINKspot are prohibited from using equipment to manufacture, develop, or create any object that could be deemed a deadly weapon,” said Maren Hunt, coordinator of the program at Mesa’s main branch. “(That is) defined as any weapon, instrument, or object capable of being used to inflict great bodily injury or death.”

The 3D printers can be found at Mesa’s main branch (64 E. First St.) and the Red Mountain branch (635 N. Power Road).

Hunt said people can create many cool things on the devices — and have done that.

“Parts for an underwater camera case; a ‘Terminator’ head that was pretty much life-sized; replacement game pieces,” she said. “(The library) had some chairs that were missing the little end pieces; I used the 3D printer to print replacement parts.”

On Tuesday, a federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order stopping the release of blueprints for making untraceable, undetectable plastic guns on 3D printers. A day earlier, eight states had filed a lawsuit to block the federal government’s settlement with a company that wanted to make the plans available.

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president didn’t approve the settlement and was glad the effort was delayed.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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