Untraceable ghost guns a growing threat in Canada
it’s crazy that this becomes a full out gun this will soon be a ghost gun an untraceable firearm with no serial number anywhere on it homemade in just a few hours using a 3D printer just these layer layer layer turns into a firearm.
Police across Canada are worried they say these do-it-yourself weapons are a growing threat foreign there’s a flood of 3D Guns entering into the city we contacted police forces across the country these guns are commonly referred to as ghost guns none of them have serial numbers.
3D printing Firearms is highly illegal there is definitely underworld and a criminal element to it seven agencies from large cities like Winnipeg to smaller ones like Sarnia told us there was a jump often a big one in 3D printed gun seizures in 2022 over the previous year more than 100 were seized Nationwide.
Calgary had one of the largest spikes police here seized 17 3D printed guns in 2022 the year before just one these guns can be 3D printed in someone’s living room in someone’s bedroom in someone’s closet without anyone knowing these two Farms We Believe were printed.
Off of this machine acting staff sergeant Ben Lawson heads up Calgary’s Firearms investigative unit this is a standard Glock style model so the bottom part is all 3D printed so the purple part and then the silver and black parts are commercially made so someone would have printed this part on a 3D printer and then have gone to just a normal gun.
Store and bought the metal pieces and put it together you bet yeah so where there would be a serial number there’s just nothing exactly the serial number is normally on the receiver or frame of a firearm but that’s the part that’s 3D printed without that number there’s no way to trace these guns why would someone print one of these anything that.
They can do to make themselves more secret and more Anonymous is probably more advantageous to the criminal um anyone can go online purchase a computer a laptop for a hundred dollars they can buy this for 300 and now they can start printing firearms you can 3D print a firearm all parts for.
Say 500 and the markup is is astronomical we can see them range anywhere from 2500 to 7 500 in Canada there’s a large and very active 3D printed gun Community online the Glock 26x the AR pistol all right let’s crank some rounds out of this creators showing off new designs to millions of followers I printed this beautiful blue frame and.
Sharing exactly how to make them so this is the YouTube page for one of these gun designers and down in the comments they actually tell people exactly where they can go to find the information to be able to print one of these guns it links me to another site where the files are all there to be able to be downloaded so I picked the gun.
That I want to print and right here in just a few clicks I’m able to download a guide and all the files and information to be able to print this weapon actually printing a gun in Canada is illegal but downloading these instruction manuals isn’t and anyone can buy the extra parts from a gun store or.
Online without a firearms license in the U.S 3D printed guns are legal in most States including Wisconsin where we’ve come to meet one of the gun designers who puts those files on the internet we see this is freedom of speech it’s an art form Ethan Middleton has designed Five 3D printed guns this handgun I.
Designed called the Schnitzel his files for making them downloaded thousands of times why put these instructions on the internet I think these types of things being out in the public help responsible adults and responsibly armed people stay responsibly armed whether the government thinks that they should be able to or not.
Do you get messages from Canadians about this I do yeah um there’s there’s a couple of dudes who message basically just looking at the files saying hey I really appreciate what you’re doing but they make it clear that they’re not manufacturing them themselves then you do have some people who are.
Totally not wink wink manufacturing these I would assume that these people aren’t bringing these Firearms out in public to like shooting ranges and stuff like that but it’s hard to know correct yeah who knows do you ever worry about one of your files with your instructions getting into the hands of someone who might then use the gun to commit a.
Violent crime if something were to happen with one of my firearms and innocent lives were lost that would really suck but the real situation of that is if it’s not my design it’s going to be someone else’s we just got the filament set we’ll get the files ready to get sent over and then uh we’ll hit print.
Remember this this gun took about seven hours to print we sped up the footage so the print finished overnight the Schnitzel Glock 19 nine millimeter handgun now we were able to print this pretty quickly because this machine’s really fancy and really expensive but traditionally this print would have.
Taken around 30 hours it’s just crazy like that wire it looks just like wire becomes this gun about 40 minutes to fit the metal pieces into the plastic frame Springs pins and stuff like that there’s always post-processing things that need to be done to make it.
Functional that is a completed essentially Glock 19. thank you then we go with Ethan to see if it actually works so we’re going to be sitting into this pile of wood here all right all right here we go and there it is a brand new firearm.
Completely under the radar so it reset everything looks good to me the weapon is still alive so no one’s going to be allowed in front of the muzzle guns are potentially dangerous tools they need to be respected in Canada the past year has seen headline after headline after headline.
Stories about alleged 3D printed gun manufacturing rings and weapons being ceased but how many are not in Toronto we ask Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino why the government hasn’t done more sooner to get ahead of this rise it’s so easy to find the files that you would need to make the guns online it’s.
Easy to go out there and get a 3D printer just seems like the train has already left the station with this problem well I think we can stop the train in the tracks it isn’t just the ability to access the 3D technology although that’s one part of it but to then use that technology or that software for the purpose of.
Manufacturing a component or a ghost gun in its entirety is something that we are actively exploring as a potential legislative a response to the problems this is technology that is new but it has been around for a few years why haven’t you done more sooner to stop this well we’ve been active we put in place a national ban on assault style.
Rifles we put in place in that handgun 3D printed guns specifically and we have a plan in place to deal specifically with ghost guns which does involve more investments in law enforcement expanding our legislative toolkit a robust collaboration with the United States and sending a strong message to criminals that if you think you’re going to use.
Ghost guns to get away with it you’re wrong but with so much information already out there the parts and printers so accessible the threat of 3D printed guns is likely to grow 3D printing is definitely one on the rise in there and then as the technology gets better it’s gonna.
Make it easier how big of a challenge do you see this becoming I wasn’t a big proponent of putting a lot of resources into 3D printed guns here in Calgary because we just didn’t see them we’re seeing this uptick in 2022 so who knows what 2023 is going to bring so Ellen this is scary and when you talk.
About the rise in ghost gun seizures across the country what sort of numbers are we looking at well along with that increase in Calgary one of the other biggest increases is right here in Ontario the Ontario Provincial Police last year they seized 18 3D printed guns before that just one in Newfoundland last year police seized eight of these.
Firearms the first time they’ve ever been seized there and Adrian this is happening in bigger cities but it’s also happening in smaller communities right across the country presumably these are just ones we know about exactly all right Ellen thanks very much you’re welcome