3D printed guns a growing concern: ALERT

Police in Alberta have seized a large number of 3D printed firearms in a recent bust that saw seven homes raided across the province. As Carly Robinson reports, it’s part of a national investigation into 3D printed “ghost” guns.

They might be colourful, but they represent a growing concern with police

The guns, some with personalized or political messages are just a fraction of those seized when the Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team (ALERT) raided seven homes across the province.

ALERT says the investigation started in Quebec with a company supplying metal components.

“The base design. This is essentially a Glock handgun,” said CPL. Gage Heathcote, a Firearms Enforcement Officer with National Weapons Enforcement Support Team.

“The driving behind it, is people are coming up with new designs every day. People are putting them up on the internet. So really it’s quite hard to keep up with it.”


Cpl. Heathcote says that unregistered, untraceable, and illegal guns can be made quickly and cheaply. He warns printing a 3D gun, even for just yourself can lead to a gun trafficking charge.

Not all of the firearms seized were 3D printed, some were conventionally made, but with 3D printed add-ons like suppressers.

“That can diminish the noise of the firearm. There are components that can transform semi-automatic legal firearms into fully automatic,” said Insp. Brad Lundeen, RCMP and ALERT.

The investigation isn’t over. What’s next is finding out where the guns made ended up.

“My concern, from a public safety point standpoint is the access to organized crime groups. We know violence is a major part of organized crime groups and networks.”

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