The debate that 3D printers are a threat to security continues to rage after Manchester Police raided a home suspected of 3D printing guns and gun components. Now it appears that the suspected 3D printed gun components are merely replacement parts for the 3D printer seized in the raid.
After many in the 3D printing community pointed out that the seized parts were just replacement components, the police released a statement. “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.” wrote the police.
Here’s the full statement from Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood.
“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.”