Man Arrested in Australia for Possession of Firearm 3D Printing Blueprints

By Bill Toulas / September 13, 2021

The NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) has arrested a man in the city of Orange, in Australia, for possessing blueprints that can be used to produce firearms in 3D printers. The man belongs to an extremist far-right organization, so they weren’t exploring the possibilities of additive manufacturing from a scientific standpoint but were rather aiming to cause harm to someone.

Source: AFP

The investigation on the first person, a 26-year-old man, started when the police noticed an unusual importation of legal supplies that could be used to manufacture firearms. The man has been importing these items into Australia over the past fourteen months, but the investigation from the Australian Border Forces only began two weeks ago.

When the law enforcement agents intercepted one of the packages, they found a firearm component in it. Upon executing a subsequent search warrant on the suspect’s residence, they found firearm 3D printing blueprints on his smartphone.

Source: AFP

The second suspect, a 31-year-old man from Orange who belongs to the same extremist group, was also served with a firearms prohibition and will be interrogated as part of the ongoing investigation.

AFP (Australian Federal Police) Commander Stephen Dametto has made the following statement over the arrest:

The potential for 3D printers to print firearms, or their components, is something police are constantly monitoring, and we will take action if we have evidence a person intends to manufacture a firearm. We will allege the man charged by the JCTT has demonstrated support for extreme ideological views. The JCTT acted early to prevent him from manufacturing a firearm, even though he allegedly made significant preparations to be able to do so.

There are several listings of 3D printing blueprints for firearms on the dark web, selling for only a few USD. It is considered a cheap and safe way to make your own gun as it involves no shipping of firearms or anything that could risk exposing the buyer’s identity.

However, if someone wants their 3D printed gun to last for more than a single shot, some legally sourced metal parts like the barrel, for example, must be used, which is what exposed the suspect’s plans in this case.

Source: KELA
Source: KELA

Australian laws criminalize the possession of digital plans and files used to 3D print firearms, and the arrested individual is now facing a maximum penalty of 14 years of imprisonment, having violated section 51F(1) of the Firearms Act (NSW).

For a better user experience we recommend using a more modern browser. We support the latest version of the following browsers: For a better user experience we recommend using the latest version of the following browsers: Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari