Britain updates rules banning 3D-printer guns
LONDON (Reuters) - Unlicensed 3D printing of guns is illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the government said on Thursday, as it moved to address growing public concern about plastic guns.
Weapons made by printing their components are already banned under the 1968 Firearms Act, but the Home Office has updated its rules to prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase and possession of them unless properly licensed.
The regulations also apply to individual gun components.
Printed guns have prompted unease among public and police forces since the first firearm blueprint was successfully fired and then freely published online in May this year, attracting over 100,000 downloads in just two days.
"The Liberator" handgun was invented by 25-year-old Cody Wilson, a Texan law student. His company Defense Distributed was quickly forced to remove the plans by the U.S. government, which said he had not received approval for making the weapon.
In Britain, there are around 170,000 firearms licences and 620,000 shotgun licences currently on issue. All firearms must be licensed by the police and are subject to a lengthy applications process.
"There has been an enormous amount of interest in recent months in 3D-printed guns and the potential dangers they pose," Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said in a statement.
He added: "There is no evidence that they are in widespread circulation, but the coalition government has reviewed existing firearms legislation and made it absolutely clear that it is an offence to own or manufacture a 3D printed gun without a licence."
There were 5,094 offences involving firearms in Britain between April 2012 and March 2013, accounting for 0.1 percent of all crimes, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics.
(Reporting By Freya Berry; editing by Stephen Addison)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Japan's NTT DoCoMo to exit India telecoms joint venture - sources
- Apple, Google agree to pay over $300 million to settle conspiracy lawsuit
- Nokia to name Rajeev Suri as next CEO on Tuesday - report
- BREAKINGVIEWS-Review: India's Singh wasn't king, Modi could be
- Met office sees below-average monsoon in 2014
Microsoft Corp's new chief executive on Thursday won rave reviews for his first public encounter with Wall Street analysts who said he communicated willingness to transform the world's largest software company as it scrambles to catch up in the mobile-computing era. Full Article
Apple, Google agree to pay over $300 million to settle conspiracy lawsuit Full Article