Police in Australia issue warning on 3-D printed gun

Claudine Zap
Claudine Zap
The Lookout

The DIY 3-D gun may not be quite ready for prime time.

According to Techworld, the police commissioner in Australia’s New South Wales, Andrew Scipione, has issued a warning after his officers tested one of the firearms—dubbed the "Liberator"—and experienced a “catastrophic misfire” (no one was seriously injured).

According to the website, the NSW police used blueprints created by Defense Distributed to make two pistols that took 27 hours to create from start to finish. The cost for materials was $35 (the desktop 3-D printer costs some $1,700). Except for the firing pin and the pistol cartridge, all the pieces were plastic.

Despite the technical glitches, the NSW police force sees the printable gun as a potentially big problem, with Scipione calling the Liberator "truly undetectable, untraceable, cheap and easy to make."

Defense Distributed's plans, reports Techworld, were downloaded 100,000 times before the company took them down under pressure from the U.S. State Department. However, it's believed that the instructions will continue to circulate.

In the U.S., the Atlantic Wire also investigated the possibility of making a 3-D gun and discovered that "this gun is not easy to make as it's been portrayed, nor as cheap, nor very legal, and the weapon itself is terrible—if you're not too terrified to pull the trigger.”