3D printed gun threat investigated

A VICTIMS of crime organisation claims the criminals committing the majority of firearms offences across the nation have no regard for the law and legislative reform would not deter them.

An inquiry has been established to investigate the illegal firearms trade and examine the threat 3D printed guns pose to the Australian way of life.

The Australian Greens-initiated Senate inquiry, which held its first round of public hearings on Monday in Sydney, will also investigate what can be done to reduce the number of illegal guns on the nation's streets.

Victims of Crime Assistance League vice-president Howard Brown, in his submission to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee, said the government could not legislate against stupidity.

"It should also be noted that no amount of legislative control will deter, nor prevent, the criminal intent of those members of society who elect to treat the rest of us with disdain," he said.

"There is no doubt that some of the offences are committed with stolen firearms but, regrettably, it would seem that the majority are committed with weapons whose providence is unknown."

However, Mr Brown said it was the potential for people to manufacture their own weapons through the use of 3D printers which was of most concern.

He said thankfully current technology did not allow people to print moulds, but believed this would change as the technology advanced.

"Once we reach that stage, the proliferation of illegal weapons will be endless and create yet another nightmare for law enforcement agencies, not just in Australia but worldwide," he said.

Australian Greens Senator and Committee chairwoman Penny Wright said it was anticipated the inquiry would provide some strong recommendations to the government in a bid to tackle the growing issue.

"Stolen firearms are a ready source for criminals and we have been told police only recover firearms from 12 to 14% of thefts," she said.

"We want to find out whether police have all the resources they need and what laws or systems might need updating in light of new technology like 3D printing."

The committee received more than 380 submissions from various organisations and people from across the country as part of its wide-reaching inquiry.

It must deliver its findings and recommendations before December 2.

- APN NEWSDESK.



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