‘First significant seizure’ of 3D-printed firearms in Edmonton: police

A 29-year-old man faces over 40 charges from Edmonton police after they discovered he was making 3D-printed guns. investigators say they're seeing more of these illegal weapons.

By News Staff

An Edmonton man has been charged after police say they uncovered a “sophisticated” operation to print 3D weapons from inside his home.

The Edmonton Police Service alleges the scale of the manufacturing operation suggests the accused was preparing to traffic the guns onto Edmonton streets.

The EPS guns and gangs section is calling it the first “significant seizure” of so-called ghost guns in Edmonton.

Police say they seized three loaded handguns; 16 privately manufactured Glock-style handguns; a steel privately manufactured firearm; 27 high-capacity magazines; a homemade suppressor; and a commercial-grade 3D printer and firearm blueprints.

They also seized two prohibited semi-automatic firearms believed to have been smuggled into Canada from the United States.

Prohibited semi-automatic firearms (left) and privately manufactured firearms seized from Edmonton-area home in June 2023. On display at Edmonton police press conference Feb. 28, 2024. (Darcy Ropchan, CityNews)

The national investigation into privately manufactured firearms – Project Reproduction – began early last year. Police say they were alerted by Quebec provincial police, the Sûreté du Québec, that an Edmonton man was purchasing parts specifically for 3D-printed firearms from a Montreal supplier.

“When they identified that individual, they were able to see that individual was shipping those parts across Canada to different other individuals that were buying them. So that’s what alerted us,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart with the EPS guns and gangs section.

That ultimately led to a search of the suspect’s home on June 20, 2023.

Roy Evan Tucker, now 29, was charged Feb. 13 with 43 offences related to firearms manufacturing. Those include firearms trafficking (manufacturing), possession of firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, possession for the purpose of firearms trafficking, and possession of prohibited/restricted firearm.

Investigators say firearms that almost anyone can make are a trend that’s getting worse.

“In 2022 we seized 38 – either 3D-printed or privately manufactured – and in 2023 we seized 88,” said Stewart.

Making things a challenge for investigators is that it’s not illegal to own a 3D printer. And while manufacturing guns without a licence is illegal in Canada, federal legislation hasn’t caught up to 3D -printed guns.

“So he was in the process of completing this firearm, so you can buy everything above this receiver lawfully and build out your firearm,” Stewart said while holding one of the seized Glock-style handguns.

“You can build this firearm in 12 hours. Someone in their home could build this with a 3D printer – 3D printers are getting better.”

–With files from Darcy Ropchan, CityNews

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