Police officials in the state of New South Wales have personally downloaded, created and experimented with the 3D-printed gun "The Liberator" and found the plastic gun will hit both target and owner.
Although the US government had been successful to have the downloadable instructions of the 3D-printed gun removed from the Web early this month, it had nonetheless been downloaded 100,000 times from points all over the world and remained available on file-sharing networks. It was through one of these channels that NSW police started to work on its experiment.
After purchasing a 3D printer for $1700 as well as other materials worth about $35, NSW police worked for only 27 hours to create two 3D-printed gun 'The Liberator' weapons.
NSW police immediately took to test the 3D-printed guns. And found horrendous results. The gun can actually shoot a standard bullet 17 centimetres deep into a firing block, either glass or a wall, and then blows up when discharged. Essentially, it jeopardizes two birds with one stone - the target and the owner.
"Make no mistake they will kill at both ends," NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said on Friday. "Being on either end of this weapon can be lethal."
What's even frightening is that these guns are electronically undetectable, such as by airport X-ray machines, because it is made of thermo-plastic or synthetic material.
One has actually been smuggled on the Eurostar train in Europe, Mr Scipione said. "There is now a major security review."
"Make no mistake, not only are these things undetectable, untraceable, cheap and easy to make, but they will kill," Mr Scipione said.
In short, the terrorism implications were huge.
"They are truly undetectable, they are untraceable because they have no serial numbers and no unique identifiers ... The forensic services people in our tests confirmed it is more than capable of killing someone."
Mr Scipione warned anyone caught manufacturing, selling, owning or in possession of a 3D gun will be prosecuted.
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail: