When “Blueprints” and “Files” become a CRIME

Gun laws are generally focused on “possession” and/or “criminal activity” today. While these are complex, most issues fall into one of these two categories. That may end sometime in the not too distant future.

When it comes to law, states are lemmings…they follow what each other does. When one state passes a law, it usually isn’t too long in the future before another law follows suit and has the same law. This has gone on for a long time and is a good predictor of what laws may be in our future.

But what about international gun laws…do the same rules apply? When one country passes some laws does the U.S. follow suit? Now that we are an international and global economy today, this is becoming more and more the case. We see what is happening in other countries with the click of the mouse and so it allows the laws in one country to be very accessible and available to our country. This happens in virtually every area of our lives today…so why should gun laws be any different?

Take the situation in Australia where they now have outlawed possessing and owning “Blueprints” and “Files” of 3D guns. That’s right, because of the surge in 3D printing and the massive increase in quality of printing, this has now caused a whole different set of laws to surface. In an article in Popular Science, “Owning Blueprints to 3D Print a Gun is Now a Crime in New South Wales,” the discuss how this is now against the law to own these items. You don’t even have to have the actual gun or a printer, you can’t even have the files or blueprints!

“The Firearms and Weapons Prohibition Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 is an amendment to the Firearms Act 1996, with the purpose in part: “to create a new offence of possessing digital blueprints for the manufacture of firearms on 3D printers or electronic milling machines.

This is a prohibition against both printing guns and on making gun parts through advanced electronic milling, where a machine follows a program to carve away parts of a metal block, leaving a useful gun part in its place. Defense Distributed, which made the first functional 3D printed gun, also has an electronic milling machine, designed for private citizens to make guns that cannot be traced by legal authorities. While the new law won’t stop people from making guns themselves, it does mean they’ll face legal consequences if they possess the files needed to do so.”

Think this won’t happen in the United States? If the trend we are seeing in gun laws continues, it is definitely on our horizon. We don’t know how long it might take or what the caveats might be around something like this but the international scene has been a leader in gun laws for quite a while. I feel this is a good indicator of something in our future. Stay tuned…read the international trends…you might just have a better window into the future of gun laws in America.

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