Australian police officers might have discovered several 3D printed gun parts when they searched a house in Queensland. The suspected 3D printed gun parts were owned by a 28-year-old man. He is arrested on weapons and drugs charges, as he owned a sawed off shotgun, ammunition as well as cannabis. He will also be charged for owning 3D printed gun parts if it turns out that the 3D printed gun parts are really what police cops think they are. Police might have stopped what could have become a disaster with 3D printed guns.
They are not yet certain whether these are 3D printed gun parts or not. An investigation will have to lead to the final answer. Detective Scott Knowles says in a statement that to them the parts look like “complete weapons just requiring assembly”. Knowles: “We’ve obviously got to get it through our ballistic experts but we can identify most if not all of the major components of a weapon.”
If so, then this will become the first time for the Queensland police to be exposed to 3D printed gun parts. Knowles is concerned about 3D printed guns. He calls it something dangerous:
“The technology’s dangerous [because for the] weapons they’re trying to design the materials they’re using aren’t able to sustain the sorts of forces that come as a result of the weapons they’re trying to discharge. It could detonate in their hands which is going to cause them serious injuries but then, obviously, it’s a firearm so that then raises issues for the general public as a result of the fact that it is a weapon capable of being discharged.”
3D printing guns is a controversial topic. Some parties, such as Solid Concepts, think gun manufacturers should be free to create guns in the way they want to and in the way technology enables them to, while others point at the risks of these guns. Plastic guns could easily pass metal detectors, which could lead to dangerous situations. For such reasons, the UK decided to put a ban on 3D printed guns, and last year in Japan a man was arrested for possession of a 3D printed gun. He got two years prison time.
Upper image: the 3D printed gun parts (credits: Queensland Police Service).