Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Australia Technology Your Rights Online

Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal 551

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-way-mate dept.
lukehopewell1 writes "'Untraceable, undetectable, cheap and freely available.' That's how Australian police have described the 3D-printable gun known as The Liberator today as they announce that they will be seeking to make the download, construction and possession of these weapons illegal. In their tests, Police printed the 15 parts required to assemble The Liberator in 27 hours and assembled it within 60 seconds with a firing pin fashioned out of a steel nail. The two guns were test fired into a block of resin designed to simulate human muscle, and the first bullet penetrated the resin block up to 17 centimeters. NSW Police Ballistics division confirm that it would be a fatal wound if pointed at someone."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal

Comments Filter:
  • by Capsaicin (412918) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @11:37PM (#43809503)

    OK maybe the downloading part is not yet covered, but I'm pretty sure in NSW unlicensed manufacture is already an offence, as is possession obviously.

  • Re:Oh, well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by multiben (1916126) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @11:48PM (#43809581)
    In Australia, where this article is about, the police *don't* decide the laws. But as enforcers of the law they are an important part of the consultation process for developing laws - they are often the ones who encounter these things first hand in their day to day work.
  • Re:Oh, well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by c0lo (1497653) on Thursday May 23, 2013 @11:53PM (#43809611)

    It's a sad situation when the law enforcers decide what the laws are.

    Nothing special about the 3D printed plastic gun: unauthorized manufacturing (or even assembling) a firearm of any kind in Australia is already prohibited (so no, this is not a case in which the police would decide what the laws are. As they aren't in control of the downloads, they can't have a say in banning the download either).

    What the TFS fails to mention: the NSW police guys seems genuinely more worried about someone hurting oneself in an attempt to fire one (the first gun printed by the NSW police exploded during tests) :

    “My greater concern is that someone would do this, make one, and then suffer the consequences and kill themselves [after a catastrophic failure]. They don’t want to shoot someone, they’re just fascinated [by 3D printing]. If we didn’t alert someone to what happened to us, we would be considered negligent.

    “Don’t try it, no matter what end of this gun you can be on, you could die. Do not download, do not manufacture The Liberator,” the Commissioner concluded.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 23, 2013 @11:58PM (#43809631)

    They are banning the download of files which contain descriptions of 15 shapes. Australia is a vile pit of censorship and anti knowledge. They already ban guns in Australia, no new laws are needed.

  • by Satanboy (253169) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:02AM (#43809651)

    It sounds like the police have never heard of PA Luty. http://thehomegunsmith.com/ [thehomegunsmith.com] check out some of the designs folks. You could make a MACHINE GUN that would be fully functional from nothing more than parts you bought at a hardware store. It would cost you about 200 bucks or so in tools and parts.

  • Re:Oh, well... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Capsaicin (412918) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:03AM (#43809653)

    But they can't in NSW, evidently .... The police will need to petition the federal government for the law

    Bzzzzt. Wrong.

    Subject only to s109 of the C'th Constitution, the NSW Parliament is a legislature of plenary power, meaning it can pass laws about anything and everything (in contradistinction with the Federal parliament which is a legislature of enumerated power). If the NSW parliament enacts a law saying it is illegal for people born in Botswana to walk down the Champs-Élysées wearing purple underpants, that would be a valid law of NSW (good luck enforcing it though) providing that it does not conflict with any C'th law (s109).

  • by c0lo (1497653) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:04AM (#43809661)

    I see no problem which what the police are saying here, but it is a very difficult thing to regulate.

    No need of additional regulation, in Australia is already forbidden to make/assemble guns without a license. The actual point they were trying to get across:

    “My greater concern is that someone would do this, make one, and then suffer the consequences and kill themselves [after a catastrophic failure]. They don’t want to shoot someone, they’re just fascinated [by 3D printing]. If we didn’t alert someone to what happened to us, we would be considered negligent.

  • Re:Oh, well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Samantha Wright (1324923) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:12AM (#43809717) Homepage Journal

    Shamelessly omitted from the summary:

    What’s interesting about the second device they tested, however, was the “catastrophic failure” of the weapon. Translation? It exploded. The plastic gave way to the brutal force of an exploding .38 caliber bullet and the barrel exploded.

    [...]

    The NSW Commissioner said that the realist in him believes that you can never stop the spread of The Liberator — and he’s right — but at least they can tell people how dangerous they are.

    “My greater concern is that someone would do this, make one, and then suffer the consequences and kill themselves [after a catastrophic failure]. They don’t want to shoot someone, they’re just fascinated [by 3D printing]. If we didn’t alert someone to what happened to us, we would be considered negligent.

  • Re:Oh, well... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Capsaicin (412918) on Friday May 24, 2013 @12:54AM (#43809913)

    You may well be right

    Well it's kinda what we were taught at Law School. And btw that should be "plenary power vs enumerated powers", sorry for the inaccuracy.

    I don't know the constitution well enough

    The (federal) Constitution would not tell you this anyway.

    The NSW police would have to petition the State Government to get the laws changed.

    Exactly. However previous poster's "sentiment" was, "they can't in NSW ... they would need to petition the federal government," which is simply wrong.

    IMHO, the appropriate steps for police/governments around the world is to legislate 3D printable weapons regulations that relate to the other laws in their jurisdictions.

    In NSW the manufacture and possession of firearms is already governed by the Firearms Act 1996 (NSW) [austlii.edu.au]. Both unlicensed manufacture and possession are offences. The definition of "firearm" under section 4, to wit,

    ... a gun, or other weapon, that is (or at any time was) capable of propelling a projectile by means of an explosive, and includes a blank fire firearm, or an air gun, but does not include anything declared by the regulations not to be a firearm.

    would seem wide enough to capture this weapon. The only thing new is the downloading of the "design" (actually machine instructions).

    The Police are not seriously seeking substantial legislative change here (though they may get some "we are doing something about this" no-effect amendment). This is a consciousness raising exercise.

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Friday May 24, 2013 @02:04AM (#43810123)

    Its over. The guns are going to flow.

    Doubtless they'll try something with bullets. But making your own bullets isn't that hard either.

    There are a dozen over the counter chemicals that could be purchased, mixed, and cooked to create explosives similar to gun powder. And then all you're dealing with is the bullet jacket, bullet, and primer. I've seen hunters that refill their own ammunition. They pick up the spent cartridge and save them. Then when they've got nothing better to do they wash them off, replace the primer, fill the cartridge with more powder, and squeeze a new bullet into it. The jackets don't even need to be made out brass or metal for that matter. A fully paper cartridge is entirely possible.

    And beyond that, the machines that can print in metal are dropping in price as we speak. Still far beyond the means of the end user but you could say the same thing of the plastic prototype printers in the 1980s. In 30 years we will probably have 3d printers printing in metal.

    And that doesn't even address the assembly capability and subtractive machining capability of many machines.

    If 3d printers scare you, I can buy a metal lathe that can make gun parts out of steel for not much more then a thousand dollars. The technology isn't that complicated. Put block of steel in vice... tighten vice... wait for drill to remove all unwanted material. Remove finished part. The parts have to be designed to accommodate the limitations of a 2 axis lathe but if we're just going for a functional gun... it works.

    Its actually surprising we don't have more home made guns throughout the world. It is really quite simple.

  • by Squiddie (1942230) on Friday May 24, 2013 @02:11AM (#43810131)
    The US does no such thing. Also as for the Australia thing, it wasn't a guideline. Look: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/01/28/australian_censors/ [theregister.co.uk] The fact is that government should not be in the role of telling you what kind of pornography is good or bad. Look what happened when Japan tried that. It only became more grotesque, yet strangely arousing.
  • by symbolset (646467) * on Friday May 24, 2013 @02:28AM (#43810187) Journal
    Thanks Satanboy. I'm pretty sure that just by clicking that link I've subscribed to some sort of list I don't want to be on.
  • by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile@NospaM.mindless.com> on Friday May 24, 2013 @03:04AM (#43810313) Journal

    Gunsmiths also perform repairs and maintenance, and I'm fairly certain Occupational Health and Safety regulations that require repairs to be done by a qualified individual apply to the police.

  • by pantaril (1624521) on Friday May 24, 2013 @03:20AM (#43810389)

    That's just not true.

    Unfortunatelly it is. You can read the definition of child pornography in U.S. and find some example court cases on the web.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Friday May 24, 2013 @03:51AM (#43810519)

    A creative enough person could kill another without a weapon, and a weapon could be made from many ordinary household objects.

    But this gun is only a gun, an unliscenced, unregulated gun that has proven to be less safe than an actual gun.
    I see no problem which what the police are saying here, but it is a very difficult thing to regulate.

    There's no need to regulate. In fact killing another person is already illegal.

  • by bloodhawk (813939) on Friday May 24, 2013 @03:54AM (#43810525)
    Then lucky they didn't ban it, the laws already make the manufacture of unlicensed firearms in Australia illegal regardless of whether it is with a 3D printer or via any other method and yes that decision was made by the democratically elected lawmakers.
  • by AK Marc (707885) on Friday May 24, 2013 @05:01AM (#43810749)
    There was a guy convicted of "obscenity" for Japanese cartoons. And a porn producer convicted of obscenity in a jurisdiction he had never even been to until his trial.

    Australia "talks" about it, but the US does it and has done it for years. Tracy Lords did almost all porn while under age, and used a fake passport for age verification, the same passport that got her in and out of the US (and obviously, other countries as well). The laws passed "because of" her wouldn't have stopped what she did.
  • by HJED (1304957) on Friday May 24, 2013 @05:54AM (#43810917)
    There not making the plans illegal, only the actual act of manufacturing. In fact it is already illegal to build guns in Australia without a license (and our gun license system works very well) they are merely pointing out that it is illegal and dangerous.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:12AM (#43811167)

    HJED wrote:
    > our gun license system works very well)

    ORLY?

    http://www.worldpublicunion.org/2013-04-05-NEWS-australian-gun-ban-resulted-in-higher-crime-rates.html [worldpublicunion.org]

    a bit sensationalist, but snopes supports some of the underlying figures:

    http://www.snopes.com/crime/statistics/ausguns.asp [snopes.com]

    and here's an analysis which concludes there were no significant effects:

    http://www.ssaa.org.au/capital-news/2008/2008-09-04_melbourne-uni-paper-Aust-gun-buyback.pdf [ssaa.org.au]

    (interesting definition of ``success'')

    and here's another study which notes a marked increase in assault, robbery and sexual assault (rape):

    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?Article_ID=17847 [ncpa.org]

  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:50AM (#43811373)
    Comparing crime statistics and claiming the differences are due to gun policies is misleading and downright deceitful.

    Ireland doesn't have a multi billion dollar per year drug trade across open borders with Mexico, which is important considering the vast, vast majority of gun related homicides in the U.S. are directly related to gang violence stemming from organised crime.

    A reasonable and fair comparison is between the U.S. and Russia, who also has the same sorts of crime problems. The difference is that Russia has some of the strictest gun laws on earth. Their gun homicide rates (depending in source) are also higher than those in the U.S.
  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Friday May 24, 2013 @07:58AM (#43811431)
    I think what you mean is that they stopped being part of Australia's culture when more restrictive ownership laws were passed in the 1980s. Handgun shooting was a wildly popular sport in Australia from the 1950s up until that time.

System going down in 5 minutes.

Working...