Nov 19, 2015 | By Alec

Last week’s dreadful terrorist attack in Paris, France have sent a shockwave throughout Europe and the rest of the world. Though many questions have to be rightfully asked about how and why at least 129 people were murdered (with many more victims injured), the attention of many specialists is going towards security measures – both those that are needed and those that are already place. Though France passed what was seen as a strict surveillance law earlier in the year in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, they are now also suggesting a series of EU wide restrictions to make it harder for jihadists to travel to Europe from Syria and to make it even more difficult for them to acquire guns. Among the proposals, interestingly enough, is the suggestion to make it illegal to even own the schematics for 3D printable guns.

This ban on 3D printable gun schematics is part of a series of proposals that, according to Reuters, will be presented to a meeting of EU interior ministers on Friday. However, it is only a very small item on the list. The bulk of the measures that will France reportedly suggest focus on travel, including tightened passport checks and better registration processes for illegal immigrants. They are also a follow-up to suggestions made earlier in the year in the wake of Charlie Hebdo, but are partially stuck in the bureaucratic pipeline. ‘It is necessary, in particular to address the security issues which the Paris attacks have again highlighted, that we adopt effective, secure and urgent measures to better control our external borders,’ the French document states according to Reuters.

More relevant for 3D printing are French concerns about guns trafficking, and among the suggested measures are EU-wide tagging and tracking systems of guns – that would also apply for pistols, stricter control on internet sales of weapons and a crackdown on illegal gun sellers in the Balkans, where the majority of illegal guns in the EU come from.

While most of these measures are somewhat understandable in the wake of the dreadful attacks in Paris, and the high threat levels currently in place in France, Germany, Sweden and elsewhere, we are still somewhat surprised about the mention of 3D printing. Specially, Paris will reportedly suggest that the sharing and owning of schematics for 3D printable guns should be made illegal. This follows similar American tensions over 3D printed guns, where especially Defense Distributed became infamous for actively sharing such schematics over the web.

Though there is a certain skill level required for 3D printing undetectable, fully plastic guns – and even then they are known to fall apart after a few shots – they are arguably quite an easy way for terrorists to get their hands on lethal weapons. It will therefore be hardly surprising if this suggestion is eventually adopted across the EU, where gun laws are already very strict and no Second Amendment controversies are in play. More information about this security suggestion, such as how the French tend to track the spread of the schematics and what punishments will be allocated to ownership, will doubtlessly follow in the near future.

The Ghost Gunner by Defense Distributed



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Freedom fighter wrote at 11/20/2015 12:04:38 AM:

MUPPETS they used AK47s...............

DW wrote at 11/19/2015 11:05:34 PM:

Basically I interpret the French and EU government reactions as “Must not allow White people to be armed and God forbids White people have their own nations with closed borders like the rest of the races and nations, so... ban technology.” This kind of self-destructive behavior has reached its last chapter.

-J wrote at 11/19/2015 5:10:10 PM:

The EU is getting ahead of it's self. They need to go back and ban suicide vests first. That ought to fix things!

Montana wrote at 11/19/2015 4:45:08 PM:

articles like this piss me off. the core of this would be a ban on information. legally owning a gun and possessing a maintenance/owners manual for SAFETY could be considered a schematic (which is the wrong word as there is nothing electronic in any of my firearms). Soon it will be diagram/drawing/sketch/model carved in clay.... this is an attempt to strip information from the internet in the name of ITAR and ignores that bad people will find a way regardless of the laws. people choosing to live scared & believing that we could all live under a rainbow need to pull their heads out of....

Bemused Bill wrote at 11/19/2015 3:19:56 PM:

Another hog wash article on printed guns, they are useless without METAL ammunition. Since AK47's are so readily available they are hardly going to use a plastic gun when a knife or a machine shop made machine gun will do the job.

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