27 Feb 2014

Border law review in light of 3D gun warning

3:01 pm on 27 February 2014

Border control laws will be reviewed in the light of a warning that 3D printer technology could be used to bring weapons into the country.

A Customs New Zealand report says three-dimensional printers can be used to create weapons that get past traditional border controls.

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says processes at the border need to change as criminals gain access to new technologies. "What if you could just download a file off the internet and press print and right there in your own living-room you were printing a fully operational pistol that you then put a bullet into the magazine and walked around and shot somebody?

"That's not science fiction - that can be done today."

Mr Williamson says 3D printers can make products such as firearms from powder and resins, which can easily be disposed of after use.

The report also looks at the possibility of financial crime through the virtual currency Bitcoin.