'Fanboy' Who 3D Printed Guns 'Silly, Idiotic, Naive'
The first firearm he printed was from the video game Halo.
The first person charged with manufacturing and trying to sell 3D-printed guns in Australia said he’s now running an education campaign to teach others about the laws that caught him out.
Sicen Sun, known as “Steven” used a 3D printer to make imitation Glock pistols and a Sig 250 imitation pistol, which he advertised on a military-themed Facebook page for sale.
On Monday, he told the NSW District Court that while he suspected he may have needed some sort of permit to possess the firearms, he didn’t know for sure, and didn’t know the penalties for such offences were so severe.
“If someone had told me the full extent of the offending behaviour by printing these things I wouldn’t have done it," he said.
Mr Sun told the court he had never come into contact with real guns, and only printed the imitation firearms to use as props in “cosplay”, where fans dress up as their favourite character from sci-fi films or TV shows.
“I couldn’t imagine that a hobby would land me in such strife," he said.
“With 20/20 hindsight, I just realise how silly, idiotic, stupid and naive my actions were.”
He was arrested early last year at his Waverley unit, and charged with possessing digital blueprints for a firearm, advertising a firearm, manufacturing a pistol without a permit and possessing an unauthorised firearm.
The most serious of the offences he’s been charged with can carry up to 15 years jail.
The court heard today that Mr Sun - who is a graphic designer - has now made a colour pamphlet, “to educate people about the legalities of 3D printing your costume props in NSW”.
He told the court he has put up the brochure at two Sydney police stations, four stores which sell 3D printers, and handed it out at the ComicCon and Supanova fan conventions.
Sun said he has also designed a “web-page takeover” comprising of advertisements about the NSW laws, to be rolled out when “funding” is secured.
He told the court the first imitation firearm he “printed” was a MA5C rifle -- a fictitious weapon from the video game Halo.
“I printed it as a scale model... to incorporate into my cosplay outfit. It was just a start... they weren’t very good," he said.
The weapon he listed on Facebook for sale had a price tag of $1,000,000 negotiable, which Sun says is proof he just wanted recognition for his work and never really wanted to sell it.
“Every craftsman wants their craft acknowledged. It looked as realistic as possible," he said.
NSW law does not differentiate between real firearms and imitation guns.
Sun, who entered a guilty plea prior to his matter reaching trial, will be sentenced in the District Court at a later date.