Will Australians need a licence to own a printer?

Well well well.  Interesting times.

There was recent US court case about whether American governments could outlaw the ownership of 3D printers plans to produce guns.  Talk about 2 birds with 1 stone.  Is this US case about freedom of speech or freedom to bear arms?

But more interesting is what might be the response of Australian governments to the development of 3D printers which may allow the production of guns?

Although it is not currently possible to produce a gun with a 3D printer, one might imagine that it may be possible one day.  And assuming a continuation of current government policy on guns, how might governments respond?

One way is obviously to outlaw the ownership of gun printing plans.  Well guess what?  The NSW government already did this:

A 2015 reform to NSW legislation created a unique offence for possessing digital blueprints for firearms, including a maximum penalty of 14 years’ jail.

But lots of content is illegal to possess yet people still possess it.  So unless Australia governments intend to build a Great Firewall Reef, then that probably won’t work.  And don’t laugh a the idea of the Government trying to build a giant Chinese style firewall.  This was tried by the “intellectual” father of the NBN – Stephen Conroy.

So if you can’t stop the plans getting out, the next alternative is to try to stop the printers.  But it is likely that there will be important (industrial, education, consumer) applications for 3D printers beyond the printing of guns.  So what’s left?  Licencing and strict regulation.

Can you see it.  A government regulating the ownership of printers.  John Milton would be spinning in his grave.

Applying for a printer ownership licence.  Are you feeling lucky?

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28 Responses to Will Australians need a licence to own a printer?

  1. stackja

    Some Australians have a licence to print money.

  2. .

    A 2015 reform to NSW legislation created a unique offence for possessing digital blueprints for firearms, including a maximum penalty of 14 years’ jail.

    You can’t even research the subject without committing an offence basically as “bad” as manslaughter.

    We’re not a free country. Not anymore.

  3. mc

    Wasn’t there discussion of regulating ownership of lathes and milling machines for the same reason recently?

  4. .

    Wasn’t there discussion of regulating ownership of lathes and milling machines for the same reason recently?

    Jesus h christ what a pathetic joke of a country.

  5. If someone wants to manufacture any sort of firearm, it doesn’t take rocket science to do so from everyday materials. People have been doing so for hundreds of years.

  6. duncanm

    Well.. I guess you’d better not click on Philip Luty’s plans for a 9mm SMG.

    3D printers don’t provide anything new when it comes to firearms.

    Luty’s arguments regarding free speech and disarmament of the populace are worth a look.

    Luty’s entire point was to point out the fallacy of

  7. duncanm

    .. disarming the populace while the knowledge to create weapons was out there.

  8. Singleton Engineer

    I managed as a teenager to make a functional yet very clumsy and inaccurate 22 from commercially available bits in a back shed.

    I fired only one round, which went through the hot water system and the shed’s (asbestos cement, of course) shed wall.

    It was confiscated by my mother, who confined me to barracks for a few days.

    Which all goes to show that we lived in dangerous times.

    But the primary danger was from the bullet, not the weapon. Wake me up when it is possible to use 3D printers to make bullets.

  9. duncanm

    And don’t laugh a the idea of the Government trying to build a giant Chinese style firewall. This was tried by the “intellectual” father of the NBN – Stephen Conroy.

    The NBN enables just such a thing.

  10. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    We will soon need a licence to use our own kitchens! (Is that another reason why machines are becoming overly complex?)
    As for printing guns, where is the harm? Gunpowder cannot just be ordered up over the line! Those guns will be useless without working bullets. Or has someone invented powderless bullets?

  11. MikeS

    If the printed plastic parts I’ve been receiving from a vendor are anything to go by, a printed gun would be a greater hazard to the shooter than the target. It would be fair to say that significant strength is not a feature of the dinky little machines currently on sale almost everywhere.

    Also as the owner of a lathe and mill which produce useful prototype parts regularly (you know, attempting the innovation we are assured will secure the country’s future) – I’m pretty sure I am one of a literally dying breed. The population of violent psychopaths may be increasing but the subset of those who can be bothered acquiring manual skills is surely limited.

  12. Howard Hill

    Gunpowder cannot just be ordered up over the line! Those guns will be useless without working bullets. Or has someone invented powderless bullets?

    Gunpowder or another propellant are easy to make in your own home if you’re that way inclined. The people making these rules really have no idea the resourcefulness of a spiteful populous, lol!

  13. duncanm

    screw making it – go to your local wrecker and salvage some airbag propellant.

  14. Colonel Crispin Berka, Kings' Fusiliers Corps.

    Get onto this and repost it, Cats.
    New Honest Government Ad from Juice Media: “My Police State!”

    All your favourite hits now under one roof(ie).
    Great stuff and hilarious.

    Also, moderators, my comments keep getting withheld automatically and would appreciate any hints why. You can confirm my email address any day of the week, so that’s not it.

    [Sorry – no idea why you’re getting held up each time. Sinc]

  15. Tel

    Legislate broadly, enforce selectively, all important decisions happen off the record. Basic template for fascism.

  16. .

    duncanm
    #2779957, posted on August 3, 2018 at 3:35 pm
    screw making it – go to your local wrecker and salvage some airbag propellant.

    Or just get a nailgun, a can of petrol and a lighter.

    I’m not kidding, one day all of these will be banned. Probably within my lifetime.

  17. 2dogs

    I don’t know why people think restricting 3D printers will help – you can’t buy ammo for a 3D printed gun unless you have a gun license.

    The risk that those printing these guns would somehow obtain ammo illegally should be addressed by controls on ammo, not on general purpose 3D printers.

  18. 2dogs

    Gunpowder or another propellant are easy to make in your own home if you’re that way inclined.

    Keeping such a home based business a secret from the cops would not be easy.

  19. .

    You could use substitutes for powder. Or industrial sources.

    Primers are going to be the more difficult item to reliably procure.

    This raises the question if a 3D air rifle has ever been made.

    Or if some blueprints are offered online in html, without the need to download.

  20. I can recall making gunpowder as a kid following a recipe in a book like the Swiss Family Robinson.

  21. .

    That’s probably banned now under counter-terrorist or VLAD laws.

    What a country.

  22. Cynic of Ayr

    Well, I would say there are already 3D printers that could make a fully functioning, safe, long lasting gun or rifle. The slight problem – for me anyway, maybe not for other Cats – is that the machines cost a million bucks or more, and they’re not available over the counter at Woolies or Coles.
    If I had that sort of money, I’d buy myself a nice 3D CNC router or miller, and make the real thing. Same as the manufacturer does.
    Having fired off a few rounds from time to time, I can tell you without any smidgeon of doubt, that I won’t be putting my face behind a gun made from some hobby 3D printer. My face aint all that handsome now, but it would look a lot worse with half missing.

  23. Eyrie

    And then there are railguns/mass drivers. No gunpowder required.
    Who needs primers? Electronic ignition. Ordinary guns are early 19 th century devices.

  24. duncanm

    Good point Eyrie.. what, exactly, defines a ‘gun’ ?

    Trebuchet ? Slingshot ?

  25. 2dogs

    I can recall making gunpowder as a kid following a recipe in a book like the Swiss Family Robinson.

    I imagine you used “stump remover”? It is hard to get saltpeter stump remover these days, and if someone will sell it to you, they’ll want to see your drivers license and keep your details on file for the police.

  26. Up The Workers!

    What a mad, mad world we live in, where Stephen Conroy, late of Footscray Council, the A.L.P. and the Krudd, Gillard, Krudd-Regurgitated Misgovernments, can be described as the “intellectual father” of any bloody thing!

  27. Combine Dave

    This is the kind of country that would license the ownership of self driving cars and drones.

    Sad!

  28. duncanm

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/silly-naive-fanboy-faces-jail-over-3d-printed-guns-20180806-p4zvu2.html

    ‘Silly, naive’: Fanboy faces jail over 3D-printed guns

    He’s since pleaded guilty to charges including possessing a digital blueprint for the manufacture of firearms, manufacturing a pistol without a licence permit, and possessing an unauthorised pistol.

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