New South Wales bill bans 3D-printed gun blueprints

3D-printed gun blueprints caught the public's attention a couple years ago, leading to several publicized blueprints and prototypes. Though not as effective as traditional firearms, the 3D-printed variety are able to fire ammo and could be lethal in the wrong hands. Lawmakers across the world responded quickly, and latest among them is New South Wales, which has passed legislation that makes possessing 3D-printed firearm blueprints illegal.

The legislation in question is "Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015," which is itself an amendment to a weapons prohibition bill from 1998. The new legislation makes it illegal for someone to "possess a digital blueprint for the manufacture of a firearm on a 3D printer or on an electronic milling machine."

The penalty for possessing these blueprints is severe — up to 14 years in prison. The only exceptions are for the police, and for individuals who have a license to make firearms. It appears research may be an acceptable reason for possessing the blueprints, as well. The penalty is among the harshest related to guns in the country, and is aimed as "criminals who think they can ... manufacture firearms from 3D blueprints."

The existence of 3D-printed firearms has concerned many, as they enable anyone with a 3D printer and the right files to create their own handgun, no background check or registration necessary. This would not only enable criminals to manufacture their own guns relatively easier, but also make it difficult to trace a firearm used in a crime. Check out the timeline below for related news!

SOURCE: Computerworld