3D printers raise concern of parents,students


Download, print and wait. Within hours a firearm that can shoot real bullets can be sitting in your home. There is not even a serial number or receipt attached to it.

3D printers, also called MakerBots, are able to build a gun using free schematics. Some parents are worried about what their children can obtain from the Internet.??

“Parents really have to monitor what their kids are doing online,” said Tallahassee citizen Neil Bell. “My daughter, she’s six and she already goes on YouTube and sometimes there’s things there that pop up on the right side that has nothing to do with the search we just did. I think it’s kind of a personal responsibility that parents need to monitor that kind of stuff.”??

According to Florida A&M University’s Campus Security Annual Report, there have been six on-campus weapons-related arrests in 2011.??

Some students are comfortable with security on FAMU’s campus but suggest being aware at all times.??

?The fact that they arrested people who had the guns kind of makes me feel secure on campus,?said Jasmine Jackson, a pre-physical therapy student from Tampa.

Students are not taking their personal safety lightly. After many recent college campus tragedies in the nation, some FAMU students are worried.??

?It’s kind of scary, looking a recent history. Situations like Virginia Tech, how safe are you within these classroom,’’asked Randy Bookhart, a senior criminal justice student from Coco Beach.??

Making a gun from a 3D Printer can be very dangerous in the wrong hands. Individuals with felony records or teens in high school may soon be able to make parts of a firearm that can shoot actual bullets. ??

However, engineers at FAMU’s and FSU’s College of Engineering, where they have a 3-D printers, say it would be too expensive for someone to make a gun from scratch.??

“The machine is about $45,000 and the resin that goes in the machine is about $1,000. So an initial investment is pretty high to print a gun,” said engineer Jerry Horne.??

3-D printers are not only for weapons, Horne sees a brighter side of the advanced technology.??

“We can now print human tissue and they are working on printing organs,” Horne said. “The only way is up. I find it funny that people are looking at the bad side of the printers.”

Currently, it’s not illegal to build your own gun. However, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives say they are keeping a close watch on printers.