RCMP are investigating the origin of a 3D printed gun seized after a shooting in Nova Scotia earlier this week.
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Guillaume Tremblay said 3D-printed guns have been seized in Canada before, but it’s not a common occurrence.
Police say a woman called 911 after she was shot at a home in East Preston on the night of Oct. 23, NS The RCMP and Halifax Regional Police investigated.
A 20-year-old woman is being treated at the hospital.
“RCMP officers learned the woman was in a garage on the property when they heard a loud explosion and suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds,” Tremblay said.
“RCMP officers secured the garage, detained the four individuals present and arrested a 20-year-old Dartmouth man for obstructing a police officer. All parties were later released without charge.”
Police searched the property the next day and say they found 3D-printed guns and ammunition. Police believe that the shooting was accidental.
A mix of off-the-shelf and 3D printing
Mike Fanning owns Novacad Systems, a 3D printing company in Burnside, NS, and a photo released by police appears to show a “hybrid” weapon, with some parts possibly coming from a 3D polymer printer and some parts from a 3D metal printer.
Fanning said many key parts are made from off-the-shelf metal tubes, casings, bolts and screws. It also includes the chamber in which the bullet exploded.
“From the photo, the buttstock, pistol grip and other external components appear to be away from all heat and combustion, and of course those plastic components are easily printed on a 3D printer,” he said. “Dangerous? Of course.”
Info Morning – N.S8:11A look at the origins of a 3D-printed gun seized by Halifax-area police
Metal printers cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and are mostly confined to university research labs. He knows nothing of the privations of Atlantic Canada.
A business like his won’t print anything like the plastic components seen in the photo, he said.
Tremblay confirmed to CBC News that the barrel was made of metal and some of the weapons were polymer. The RCMP officer said most printed weapons contain off-the-shelf parts. The frame is often printed, which is still under the Criminal Code offense of manufacturing a firearm.
He said police expect to charge someone with a firearm. Regardless of the technology, it is illegal to manufacture a firearm in Canada without a proper license, and it is also illegal to possess a firearm that you do not have a license for.
Tremblay said RCMP are seeking tips from the public surrounding the origin of the weapon.