3D printed guns are slowly progressing

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While 3D guns are the latest problem for law enforcement in some parts of the country, Toronto has so far been somewhat spared.

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“While we have not seen an increase in 3D firearms specifically in Toronto (since 2020, TPS has seized a total of 8 3D printed firearms or firearm parts), TPS is seizing more and more weapons made privately without serial numbers. These may include 3D printed firearms, converted pellet guns and other homemade firearms,” Toronto police said in an email.

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Calgary police recently laid 66 charges against two men who allegedly ran a firearms production and trafficking operation.

To date this year, Calgary police have seized 1,229 firearms, including 316 firearms deemed to be firearms, which are illegally used and illegally owned firearms.

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Nine percent of the weapons seized were homemade 3D-printed weapons, which police say is a significant increase from last year.

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“3D printed firearms are a growing trend that we are working to address with targeted application,” Acting Master Sgt. Ben Lawson of the Calgary Police Service Firearms Investigation Unit.

“3D printed guns function like any other firearm and have the potential to cause real danger to our community. The Firearms Investigation Unit supports all firearms criminal investigations and works with other areas of the Service to gather information and specifically target those responsible for gun trafficking in Calgary.

A 3D printer and 3D printed firearms recently seized by Calgary police. Photo by handout /Calgary Police

In November 2020, police became aware of an individual suspected of being involved in firearms trafficking and reportedly learned that he had recently purchased a 3D printer to manufacture firearms.

In May 2022, they executed search warrants at two residences and allegedly seized 3D printers, five 3D printed Glock style handguns complete with magazines, five 3D printed Glock style lower receivers and weapon parts additional guns, including trigger pieces, slides and barrels, and ammunition.

Two individuals have been arrested and now face multiple charges of manufacturing, possessing firearms or restricted devices.


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