People have been making 3D-printed guns at home since 2013. Only in the last several years have these unserialized and untraceable weapons advanced in design and durability.
The Sun reports 3D printed guns, also known as “ghost guns,” are flooding the streets of Britain and scaring the bejesus out of local police.
“Criminals are flooding British streets with 3D printed guns in an “unprecedented” security threat.
“Cops have been ordered to search for the futuristic devices in every house they raid no matter what crime has been committed in a ramped-up response,” The Sun wrote.
3D-printed guns have come a long way since Cody Wilson and Defense Distributed built the first 3D-printed firearm, The Liberator, a single-shot handgun, in 2013. Now, these untraceable weapons can be constructed entirely at home for around $350 and fire thousands of rounds in semi-automatic mode.
Met Police wrote off 3D-printed guns a few years back by saying they ‘were not a major concern’ – but since printers and gun designs have advanced quickly – police sources are telling The Sun they’re “extremely concerned” over a surge in weapon seizures sparked by an “exponential” advance in printer technology and surge in instructional videos online.
Since anyone can print AR-15s, AKMs, semi-automatic pistols, submachine guns, and more, police fear the UK could soon be overrun with military-grade shooters.
Former undercover Met officer Peter Bleksley told The Sun: “There has been a rapid escalation – it’s very frightening. It completely changes the criminal landscape.
“The activists teaching people how to make these weapons are deliberately setting the bar as low as possible – they are deliberately making it so anyone can do it.
“If you can read, have access to the internet, and have £300 spare, off you go.
“The most concerning element is that this cuts across and appeals to all criminality. From the loner in his bedroom to organized crime, they will all find it very attractive.”
The Sun spoke to a top gang leader, under the condition of anonymity, who said the weapon of choice is 3D-printed Glock.
The criminal also said: “A kid I know makes them for people and he’s pretty good at it.”
“He’s got the prints from online and has a decent 3D printer and he sells them to certain groups who need them – normally to put the frighteners on a fella or two.
“The plastic gangsters are the ones who are using these, because they can’t get hold of the real thing.
“That’s what makes these dangerous – they’re sloppy and unprofessional. Kids who think they’re it and they ain’t.”
The wide release of the 3D-printed gun blueprints and access to cheap, quality printers is a disruptive technology that makes prior enforcement of gun laws challenging for governments.
There are communities of developers advancing weapon designs and allowing anyone (sometimes for a small nominal fee) to download and print their files.
A divided 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, California, ruled Tuesday that blueprints of 3D-printed weapons can be shared online, making these weapons more accessible to anyone.
It’s only a matter of time, not just in the US, but in Europe, that governments unleash a massive crackdown on these untraceable firearms.