Mar 1, 2017 | By Tess
The making and regulating of 3D printed guns has continued to be a contentious and controversial topic within the maker community and, increasingly, in Australia. Over recent months, Australian authorities have made a number of arrests and laid a number of charges that have had to do with crime syndicates and individuals manufacturing partially or mostly 3D printed firearms, reportedly capable of firing bullets.
Now, Australian police have cracked down again, this time on Sydney-based gaming enthusiast Sicen Sun. Authorities became aware of Sun after coming across one of his social media posts, which advertised the sale of a 3D printed imitation gun for an astounding $1 million AUD. Sun, a 27-year-old account manager at a global advertising firm and a UTS graduate, had reportedly been manufacturing a number of imitation firearms using his own 3D printer.
(Photo: NSW Police)
The NSW Firearms Squad, who investigated Sun, say they found a number of replica guns in his apartment, including an imitation Glock handgun, air pistol, and Sig 250. Sun, who claimed he had downloaded the 3D print files online, was faced with a number of criminal charges for his actions, including the manufacture of a firearm without a license.
"If an imitation or replica firearm was pointed at you, you would treat it as if it was a real firearm," commented Firearms Squad Detective Inspector Joe Doueihi. "It is very difficult to distinguish through the naked eye whether an imitation firearm is in fact an imitation firearm or whether it is a fully operational firearm.”
According to Australian firearm laws, not only is owning a 3D printed gun illegal, but even possessing the blueprints for manufacturing firearms using 3D printers or milling machines is punishable by law. Sun’s case marks the first time that NSW Police have charged someone for this.
(Photo: Daniel Munoz)
Described by his lawyer as a “fanboy,” Sun was reportedly using his 3D printer to recreate firearms and weapons from his favorite video game characters. "He is a fellow who has certainly been hammered at the pointy end of the Firearms Act,” commented Sun’s lawyer Jason Keane.
Facing the Waverley Local Court in Sydney, Australia, Sun admitted that making the guns was a hobby of his that had “got out of hand.” The counter argument, raised by Inspector Doueihi, suggested that excuse was not a passable defence, saying: “He has committed a serious offence and that is why he is before the courts.”
In the end, Sun was granted bail, likely due to his free admissions, and was made to pay a $3,000 AUD surety. He was also required to surrender both his Australian and Chinese passports, instructed to stay away from international airports, and must check-in with police on a weekly basis.
Sun is due back in court again this April.
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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Eric Spidell wrote at 3/2/2017 2:12:04 AM:
So these are replicas (a model or toy gun for you law enforcement officers). Are you going to tell me that toy guns are not sold at all in Australia?
Gob Smacked wrote at 3/1/2017 7:35:07 PM:
If only he had printed hand grenades and land mines, none of this would have happened. Talk about anal application of the law. He really does look like a drug snorting Hells Angel and huge risk to society. Perhaps Australia should just ban any sort of making, plant pots can kill.