In a few short months 3D printed guns have gone from a widespread curiosity to a big deal, at least in the media and now also in the legislative field.
Carl Judge from the PUP Party in Queensland, Australia is the first to propose specific legislation to outlaw not only the possession, distribution or manufacture of 3D printed weapons, but also the unauthorized publishing or swapping of digital blueprints and detailed instructions.
The Weapons (Digital 3D and Printed Firearms) Amendment Bill 2014 in Australia is extremely detailed and basically amends the Weapons Act 1990 to include 3D printed weapons as well and introduce specific penalties according to the 3D printed gun category. It also introduces a specific procedure for obtaining a digital firearm license.
For Judge it is just a matter of acting early to address an issue that he sees as a real threat to society. He believes 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. According to Judge the Bill that he introduced into parliament provides that response.
The Australian bill could serve to make people more aware that 3D printed guns are just as dangerous as traditional guns and avoid other cases like Yoshitomo Imura’s in Japan, who was arrested with a full arsenal of 3D printed guns and said he simply did not know them to be illegal.