An 18-year-old Australian man has been charged after police seized a fully functional firearm he allegedly made at home using a 3D printer. Police said the homemade weapon was discovered by detectives from the Drugs and Firearms Squad at a house in Bayswater, northeast Perth, on June 3.
“This firearm, despite looking like a toy, has the ability to cause serious harm within our community,” said Senior Detective Sergeant. Blair Smith told reporters. “It is deeply concerning that this man was able to make this firearm at home with a 3D printer and readily available materials.”
The 3D printed weapon is capable of firing 15 shots with a single pull of the trigger. The teenager has been charged with a series of firearms offenses including unlicensed manufacturing of firearms or ammunition and possession of a prohibited weapon.
In Australia, civilians are prohibited from owning fully automatic weapons, and all other possession of firearms is heavily regulated and restricted to persons over the age of 18 with a valid licence.
The laws were introduced in 1996 after a gunman opened fire on tourists at Port Arthur, a former colonial prison in Tasmania, killing 35 people.
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Sergeant Smith described the discovery of the assault rifle as “deeply concerning” and said he had no place in the community. “Although it looks like a toy, it has the ability to cause serious damage within our community,” he told reporters at a press conference on Monday.
It is estimated that it only takes 48 hours to make a gun with materials costing as little as $40, while a 3D printer can cost $6,000.
The teenager is due to appear in Perth Magistrates’ Court on June 22.
(with agency contributions)
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Post expires at 2:54pm on Friday June 24th, 2022