Canada to Study how to Prevent 3D Printed Guns

Public Safety Department to explore control of 3D printed guns

canada, 3d printing, gun, law, policy, lawThe 3D printed gun controversy has been out of the press lately. However, it hasn’t escaped the consciousness of Canadian law enforcement.

In a recent notice, the Canadian Public Safety Department has issued a call for contractors to study 3D printing and how it relates to the manufacture of firearms.  Canadian officials, like their US counterparts, are concerned that the swift decline in 3D printer prices could lead to more illegal weapons.

“The emergence of 3D printing could transform manufacturing of firearms such that firearms could be more easily made by individuals and groups,” says the notice. “As 3D printing technology becomes more available and refined, there is a need to examine its implications for the manufacture of firearms, their components and ammunition.”

As part of the study, the Canadian government is interested in learning if software could be developed to prevent the 3D printing of guns, or gun components – an idea that’s likely to draw the ire of civil libertarians.

It is that sticking point that makes 3D printed guns a problem. Adding digital rights management (DRM) to 3D printers isn’t an effective way to prevent illicit guns from being manufactured. Any 3D printing hobbyist can likely find a hack that would allow them to bypass any “governor” installed on a printer.

If you can’t prevent gun printing, or web distribution, what steps can law enforcement take to stop proliferation?  Perhaps this Canadian study will find a way?

Image Courtesy of Defense Distributed