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    Ex-FBI Agent: US Control Measures Unlikely to Stem Proliferation of 3D Guns

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Efforts by the US government, backed by the judicial system to ban the personal manufacture of guns using 3D printers, are unlikely to prevent them from being produced in large numbers, former FBI senior agent and whistle-blower Colleen Rowley told Sputnik.

    "It won't be possible to ultimately stop this technological advance of 3D printing of guns," Rowley said on Thursday.

    Following the recent ruling by a federal judge, who temporarily banned the posting of schematics for 3D guns online, a coalition of US gun rights activists called Code Is Free Speech began posting schematics for 3D-printed guns online, directly disobeying the court's decision.

    They claim that the court's ruling is in violation of the US Constitution, arguing that the publication of such information — for example schematics — is protected under the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to free speech.

    Rowley also said gun control measures are not a solution and perhaps when things get worse, the United States will have to consider what can be done about the real root problems of the endemic violence.

    "I'd say that without 'gun control' as the seemingly easier solution (non-solution) that (mostly American liberals) lean on, perhaps when the problem grows worse, they will have to consider what can be done about the real root problems of the endemic violence in the United States," she said.

    Rowley also cautioned that the ability for individuals to privately produce their own guns at will through 3D printing could have significant effects on countries that had long-standing strong laws limiting private ownership of guns and that had low levels of violence.

    "An interesting question is what the advent of 3D gun printing will have on other countries that don't already suffer from such a high level of endemic violence, say Canada, Japan or Switzerland," Rowley said.

    The controversial issue of printing 3D guns and distributing their schematics online first emerged during the Obama administration, which had barred the practice. But the ruling was reviewed in June 2018, with the ban being lifted.

    In February 2003, Rowley wrote an open letter to then FBI Director Robert Mueller, in which she warned her superiors that the FBI was not prepared to deal with new terrorist strikes that she and many of her colleagues feared would result from a US war with Iraq.

    At the end of 2004, Rowley retired from the FBI after serving for 24 years. In 2002, she shared the Time magazine Person of the Year award with two other women whistle-blowers — Sherron Watkins from Enron and Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom.

    Related:

    3D-Printable Gun Inventor Pledges to Fight Design Sharing Ban in Supreme Court
    Gun Rights Activists Post 3D Gun Plans Online Amid Temporary Ban by US Court
    Fact Sheet: What is a 3D-Printed Gun Anyway?
    US Judge Blocks Online Publication of 3D-Printed Gun Schematics
    New York Governor Vows to Outlaw any 3D Printable Guns
    Tags:
    futile, measures, law, proliferation, 3D printed guns, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Colleen Rowley, United States
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