placeholder image

A licence to print: how real is the risk posed by 3D printed guns?

Journal Article


Download full-text (Open Access)

Abstract


  • 3D printed guns are back in the news after Queensland Police reported last week that

    they had discovered a 3D printer in a raid on what appeared to be a “large-scale”

    weapons production facility as a part of Operation Oscar Quantum.

    According to police, the raid uncovered homemade weapons and ammunition in a

    workshop manufacturing facility “containing equipment used in the production of

    fully automatic machine guns, including a 3D printer, lathes, drill presses and other

    tools”.

    The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker, of the Drug and Serious

    Crime Group, said the “Uzi”-style guns, thought to be made with the help of a 3D printer, were “fairly

    close” to factory quality.

    One of the home made weapons was captioned in one media report as being a “3D-printed

    submachine gun”. This could certainly raise alarm and hint at a new era of disorganised and

    decentralised weapons production, and a burgeoning “reshoring” of weapon manufacturing as an

    alternative to importation from overseas.

    But the fact is that 3D printing technology is not yet at the stage where it can readily produce

    weapons. Although it can be used to help rogue gunsmiths work their shady trade.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Birtchnell, T. (2016). A licence to print: how real is the risk posed by 3D printed guns?. The Conversation, 28 November 1-5.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3775&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2773

Number Of Pages


  • 4

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 5

Volume


  • 28 November

Abstract


  • 3D printed guns are back in the news after Queensland Police reported last week that

    they had discovered a 3D printer in a raid on what appeared to be a “large-scale”

    weapons production facility as a part of Operation Oscar Quantum.

    According to police, the raid uncovered homemade weapons and ammunition in a

    workshop manufacturing facility “containing equipment used in the production of

    fully automatic machine guns, including a 3D printer, lathes, drill presses and other

    tools”.

    The Gold Coast Bulletin reported that Detective Superintendent Jon Wacker, of the Drug and Serious

    Crime Group, said the “Uzi”-style guns, thought to be made with the help of a 3D printer, were “fairly

    close” to factory quality.

    One of the home made weapons was captioned in one media report as being a “3D-printed

    submachine gun”. This could certainly raise alarm and hint at a new era of disorganised and

    decentralised weapons production, and a burgeoning “reshoring” of weapon manufacturing as an

    alternative to importation from overseas.

    But the fact is that 3D printing technology is not yet at the stage where it can readily produce

    weapons. Although it can be used to help rogue gunsmiths work their shady trade.

Publication Date


  • 2016

Citation


  • Birtchnell, T. (2016). A licence to print: how real is the risk posed by 3D printed guns?. The Conversation, 28 November 1-5.

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3775&context=sspapers

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/2773

Number Of Pages


  • 4

Start Page


  • 1

End Page


  • 5

Volume


  • 28 November