Untraceable 3D-Printed Guns Spreading Across Canada, Over 100 Seized Last Year

Team Parvasi – Inside

Canadian police seized over 100 3D-printed guns in 2022, which is significantly higher than the previous two years. These guns are made at home and are called “ghost guns” as they are untraceable. Officials feel that this surge in 3D-printed guns is due to the gun shortage, as far as one of the cities with increased activity is concerned.

According to a new report, 3D-printed guns are on the rise and Canadian police seized over 100 such guns in 2022 across Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Stratford, and Vulcan, Alta. In Calgary, 17 3D-printed guns were seized in 2022 and prior to that, there was only one 3D-printed gun seized each year in 2020 and 2021. Officials are unsure of what 2023 will bring in terms of 3D-printed weapons.

These 3D-printed guns are manufactured at home and are called “ghost guns.” They cannot be traced and can be manufactured with consumer-grade 3D printers. The plans and designs are also available online quite easily. The receiver of the gun is the 3D printed part while the other components are purchased from gun stores and even online.

“I wasn’t a big proponent of putting a lot of resources into 3D-printed guns here in Calgary when we first started [the unit], because we just didn’t see them. All of a sudden now, we’re seeing this uptick in 2022, so who knows what 2023 is going to bring,” said Ben Lawson, acting staff sergeant of the Calgary Police Service Firearms Investigative Unit.

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Inspector Elton Hall of the Winnipeg Police Service spoke at a news conference and said that the gun shortage in the city has led to a surge in 3D-printed guns coming into the city. Last year in December, Winnipeg police busted a criminal network that paid legitimate 3D printer services to manufacture firearm receivers.

Similarly, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary reported a bust last year in February where eight 3D-printed firearms were seized, along with 3D-printed silencers and more.

According to Staff Sgt. Lawson of the Calgary police, these 3D printed untraceable guns can be sold for anywhere between $2,500 and $7,500, depending on the city. In Ontario, 18 such weapons were seized in 2022 while only one was found in the previous year. On the other hand, Peel Region seized only one such gun last year and was not tracking numbers before that. Meanwhile, York Regional Police shared that a fully-functioning 3D-printed firearm was used in a carjacking robbery in the region.

Vineet Washington


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