Oct.25, 2013

A 3D printer was found by officers during a raid on suspected gang members in the Bagley area of Manchester. (AP Photo/Greater Manchester Police)

Greater Manchester Police have seized a 3D printer and suspected "homemade" gun components during police raids in Manchester. Detectives initially said the parts are being testing to see whether the gun were viable.

Police have issued a new statement following earlier claims after the 3D printing community pointed out they may be harmless printer upgrade parts.

"We need to be absolutely clear that at that this stage, we cannot categorically say we have recovered the component parts for a 3D gun." write the police in the statement.

3ders user Chris Thorpe says "they're replacement parts for a MakerBot", and user Joo and Kit F point out that "gun clip" is a spool holder for the Replicator 2.

And the thing GMP are calling a "trigger" is a "spring-loaded arm to squeeze the filament" in a printer.


In this new statement issued this afternoon, assistant chief constable Steve Heywood said:

What we have seized are items that need further forensic testing by national ballistics experts to establish whether they can be used in the construction of a genuine, viable firearm.

We will also be conducting a thorough analysis of computers we have recovered to establish any evidence of a blueprint on how to construct such a weapon.

Clearly the fact we have seized a 3D printer and have intelligence about the possible production of a weapon using this technology is of concern. It is prudent we establish exactly what these parts can be used for and whether they pose any threat.

What this has also done is open up a wider debate about the emerging threat these next generation of weapons might pose.

The worrying thing is for me is that these printers can be used to make certain components of guns, while others can be legitimately ordered over the Internet without arousing suspicion. When put together, this could allow a person to construct a firearm in their own home.

Thanks to Challenger, which is the biggest ever multi-agency response to organized crime in Greater Manchester's history, we now have even greater resources to combat any emerging threats posed by organized criminal gangs, which may include the production of these weapons.Under Challenger we will a multi-agency action plan for every single organized crime group in Manchester and we will target these networks from every possible angle, hitting them where it hurts."



Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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drpepper wrote at 10/11/2017 1:45:00 PM:

Glad I don't live in a country that has such rediculous gun laws and live in a free land...well, kinda free except for libfks and rino republicans.

DJH wrote at 10/28/2013 8:01:17 PM:

If spool holders are outlawed, only outlaws will have spool holders.

shekels wrote at 10/26/2013 3:08:33 AM:

Jesus christ, imagine all the tax payers dollars paying for this fuck-tarded investigation. It is already legal for people to manufacture their own weapons! If you have the know how you can machine out your own lower receiver and buy the rest of the components at your favorite red neck store. You dont need a 3D printer to legally make your own fire arms.

3dbleh wrote at 10/25/2013 9:32:23 PM:

I have something even more dangerious than a 3d printer that can be used to make gun parts.. ...It's called a lathe :) Just kidding There is an agenda at work here. 3d printers scare ignorant people. That will change over time...I hope.

Theiso wrote at 10/25/2013 8:10:14 PM:

Face palm. Maybe the Police just wanted a Makerbot for their own ;-)

Ben wrote at 10/25/2013 6:48:09 PM:

Got to love sensationalism. Metal printers will ramp this sort of thinking through the roof to the point where you will need permits to own and operate a 3d printer. Even if this was a real gun trigger or magazine what if it was a replacement for a registered gun he legally owned? What is the tipping point when the replacements become printing a gun?

aubenc wrote at 10/25/2013 6:30:38 PM:

"The worrying thing is for me is that these printers can be used to make certain components of guns, while others can be legitimately ordered over the Internet without arousing suspicion. When put together, this could allow a person to construct a firearm in their own home." Then may be... it's far easier to track those internet orders before making so much noise about "just nothing" and show the world that "intelligence" they are talking about.

Jeff wrote at 10/25/2013 6:29:03 PM:

Its a panicked attempt to scare people away from buying them (3D printers). IF they were actually trying to produce a gun, they would have found plans and componants to produce one. Not an odd componant or two that might be able to be part of one. my opinion: They raided the house for something (maybe guns, maybe something else), found nothing illegal, and scrambled to make what they did find look / sound sinister. They must not have found a pressure cooker.

lassi wrote at 10/25/2013 6:17:52 PM:

...so are they going to go busting everyone with a 3d printer? of course not. they're trying to save face.

1984 wrote at 10/25/2013 5:28:49 PM:

I'm sure that printer is a terrorist too. Think about how this technology takes away a lot power from a lot of corporations. They want to make the useful idiots afraid of this technology so they can control it or get rid of it because they hate when people have the power to do anything for themselves. The assistant chief constable Steve Heywood is clearly just another cog in the wheel of corruption. Fear mongering and propaganda is what this is about.

CornGolem wrote at 10/25/2013 5:03:48 PM:

It's all propaganda. What kind of gang has a nice workbench like that one ?

Hawk wrote at 10/25/2013 5:00:12 PM:

No actual item fully printed out??? The " have intelligence about the possible production of a weapon using this technology is of concern."... wait, intelligence, not item or anything... Show items that can be easy to link to Thingverse, and such, to prove they are not part of a gun, or remotely close. Can someone say FALSE FLAG!!! Can someone say manufactured raid, to show a gun printing problem that don't exist!!! Can someone please print out a gun for these silly misguided people and show them that the gun will either blow up in your hand, or fire once without good aim, and not be useable again. Can someone please duct tape these chicken littles mouths already please... Please also let them and their NRA buddy's (or UK version of NRA) know that printed guns are not usable, and won't impact their masters gun sales anytime soon. Really, when have you seen a environmentalist with a PLA printed gun... that would be an oxymoron... it's bio degradable, and able to kill... LOL

James wrote at 10/25/2013 4:43:34 PM:

oh gawd the stupidity. they might as well raid old folks homes and seize all the wheelchairs cuz any decent engineer will be able to turn them into firearms.

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