Queensland MP moves to ban "3D firearm printing" programs

THE Palmer United Party (PUP) has introduced legislation to Queensland Parliament to regulate the possession of 3D printed firearm programs.

If passed, the amendment to the Weapons Act would be an Australian first, making it a punishable offence to manufacture, possess or distribute a 3D firearm printing program.

PUP MP Carl Judge (pictured) said the Act already made it illegal for people to make firearms if they were not licensed to do so.

But the new amendment would see this taken one step further.

The Yeerongpilly, Brisbane, MP who will challenge Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie for his Sunshine Coast seat at the next election, said the bill included a licensing scheme as well as new offences and punishments for offenders.

He said 20 years in the police force gave him an insight into what could happen if the laws didn't change to keep pace with technology.

"It is vital to get ahead of the problem and give the police the tools they need to protect our community," he said.

The potential for digital 3D firearms to become freely available became apparent last year when Cody Wilson of Defense Distributed used a 3D printer to make a plastic gun called "The Liberator" in the US.

After The Liberator was successfully test fired, Wilson made the Computer Aided Design files (to print a 3D firearm) freely available online.

Frighteningly, the files were downloaded more than 100,000 times before the US government requested that they be removed.

Mr Judge said there was a real concern the new printing method could be used by criminals.

"There is a very real and significant risk to our community because it is now possible and affordable to actually print a physical and operative firearm," Mr Judge said.

"This very real risk requires a timely and comprehensive response."

He said the new Bill provided that response.