Australia has been one of the biggest advocates for gun control over the years. Their laws are very strict, making it difficult to legally own a firearm as an Australian resident. The new laws have been credited for making it quite difficult for someone to obtain one illegally as well. That’s until 3D printers came along at least. Last year, police in New South Queens decided to download a 3D model of Cody Wilson’s Liberator handgun. They then printed it out over a 26 hour span, and assembled it within a minute. They were astonished, as well as terrified, at how lethal the weapon could be. On top of this, the fact that the gun could be printed for about the price of a decent dinner, really sent shivers down their spines.
Here we are a year later, and action is finally being taken. In that short year 3D printing technology has improved, and prices have dropped substantially, as we are well on our way to the mainstream adoption of the technology. Carl Judge, a member of the Palmer United Party (PUP) in Queensland, Australia’s second largest state, and third most populated state, has introduced a bill today which would create a special licensing scheme for holding, distributing or making 3D printed weapons, while also making it illegal to even post a design online.
“It is now possible for digital 3D firearm technology to be applied in conjunction with an additive manufacturing process (i.e. 3D printing) to make a physical and operative firearm,” the explanatory notes of the Bill stated. “Technology advancements associated with the application of digital 3D models and 3D printers are increasing and cost inhibitors are reducing. Nowadays digital 3D model technology can be extensively applied.”
The concerns of Carl Judge are certainly legitimate, however not everyone agrees that such stringent laws should be put into place. To make illegal, the sharing of information, is a major encroachment on one’s rights, and those who really want to obtain a 3D model of a gun could easily do so under the radar.
“Nowadays there are well founded and serious concerns that such firearms will infiltrate our community and this very real risk requires a timely and comprehensive response” Mr. Judge stated. “The Bill that I have introduced into parliament provides that response.”
Before Judge entered the public life, he obtained numerous certifications including an Advanced Certificate in Policing, an Advanced Diploma of Public Safety (Police Investigation), and Bachelor of Policing. It will be interesting to see if this bill will pass, and whether or not such laws will be introduced in other nations around the world. It is important to note that this bill is only targeting the State of Queensland, and not the entire nation of Australia, at this time.
What do you think about the bill that has been introduced in Queensland today? Should it be illegal to upload a 3D gun model to the internet? Let us know your opinion is, at the 3DPB.com forum thread dedicated to the discussion of Australia’s new gun bill.
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