The Australian Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee has recommended new legislation specifically to regulate 3D printed firearms. Should they do this?
It seems there is some disagreement over how to proceed, according to a story in Computerworld, which says:
However, in a dissenting report a majority of the senators who participated in the hearings of the inquiry argued that existing laws were adequate for dealing with the issue.
As the Australian legislators debate this issue, our opinion continues to be this: it’s a non-issue.
The number of 3D printed weapons is obviously very small. Consider these: The number of people capable of doing it is very small. The number of people capable of 3D printing weapons and have interest in doing so is even smaller. The number who can do it and have malicious intent is certainly almost zero.
Why create new legislation when existing laws are capable of managing the manufacture of firearms?
Why create new legislation for 3D printed weapons when there are any number of other, better techniques for making weapons?
Why create new legislation for 3D printed weapons when it would be almost impossible to enforce and monitor?
It seems that the Australian legislators may have become spooked by the “rapid changes” occurring in 3D printing and have panicked. Knee-jerk reactions to ongoing technology development is never a good idea, as it may unintentionally form barriers to progress for no good reason.
The real reason for this move: we suspect it’s simply a play for the public audience, a side effect of the hype associated with 3D printing these days. Yay votes!