Australian Police Seize 3D Printed Gun Parts

Almost two years after Aussie cops first started warning the public about the dangers of 3D-printed firearms, Queensland officers have seized plastic firearm parts in a raid.

Queensland Police executed a search warrant on a property in Mudgeeraba, seizing cannabis and cannabis plans, a knuckle duster, a shotgun and "plastic weapon parts" made with a 3D printer.

A 28-year old man was arrested during the search and charged with drug and firearm offences. He will appear before a court later on this month, Police say.

Queensland Police Detective Inspector Scott Knowles took the opportunity to provide a warning to citizens about these 3D printed weapon parts, saying that they risk "serious injury" to themselves by using them, before adding that they'd be up on firearm offences if caught.

The NSW Police service held a press conference back in 2013 warning the public about this new threat. At the time, they brought up the same points Queensland officers did yesterday, saying that people who use these home-made plastic weapons risk damage to themselves.

The NSW officers came to this conclusion after 3D printing a copy of the Liberator (the world's first 3D printed gun model) and test-firing it, only to find out that it exploded with the round.

Image: Queensland Police



    Do they have to fire it to prove it works - that it is actually a firearm? Or can they base it on intent?

    The quote the police as saying something along the lines of "If we don't get new laws, someone will die from one of these". I'm not sure what law will allow them to stop someone from downloading and printing a gun. And I'm not sure what new laws are needed. It's already illegal to manufacture a firearm or own one without a license. I'm also pretty sure it's illegal to shoot someone too.

      It's been said in a recent Senate Inquiry into Australia's firearm legislation that our laws can't keep pace with new technology like 3D printed guns. Those thoughts have been echoed by police all over the country since then.

        Police always want more laws. That way the can arrest people and then work out how many extra things they can charge you with.

        What is inadequate with current laws?

        Same thing happened with computers. Are there any new crimes that computers created? Or just other ways to commit them.

        How do they distinguish between a toy 3D printed gun and a real one from a legal perspective?

        The presence of bullets?

          Fake guns usually have bright orange barrel ends.

            Not if they are 3D printed.

            My point was more that criminals could use that as they excuse and the cops can't exactly prove otherwise without assembling and firing it. Which I would assume they won't do.

              From a legal perspective that is how they are distinguished as the poster asked.
              If it is a 3d printed gun regardless of whether it works or not. It isn't legal with out the distinguishing marks.

        you mean the same Senate inquiry where registered firearm owners were criminalised by the Greens?? Its illegal to manufacture firearms already, what new laws would you need?

      The offender can be charged under existing firearms laws.

      The firearms/prohibited weapons law does not say how they could make it, just that you make or manufacture a illegal weapon or firearm.

      One could make a firearm in many different ways not involving a 3D printer. And still make it out of plastic.

      One could make a imitation firearm and still be charged under existing firearms laws.

    I'd be more worried about criminals using that small milling machine that can be bought cheaply. A gun made out of steel is always going to be better than a plastic one.

    'Queensland Police executed a search warrant on a property in Mudgeeraba, seizing cannabis and cannabis plans'

    Cannabis plans?

    "Okay boys, this is how we marijuana"

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now