Owner: '3D gun' are printer parts

The man arrested after police claim they had seized component parts for a 3D printed gun has insisted they are actually parts of a printer. The suspect said the arrest could "kill" his business and said the officers "have gone over the top".

Shop owner: '3D gun' components are printer parts

A "trigger" and "magazine" which could supposedly be fitted together to make a viable 3D printed gun are in fact actual parts of the printer, the businessman whose shop was raided by police said.

Police confiscated "Andrew's" 3D printer from his model-making shop yesterday and hours later hailed their findings as "a really significant discovery".

A businessman holds parts of a 3D printer (right) after his shop was raided. Credit: PA

Read: How does 3D printing work?

However, the shop owner, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the supposed trigger and magazine for bullets were actually parts of the printer - which he uses to make models.

In tears, he said: "I'm angry, disappointed and hurt. This could kill me, this could threaten the business. I was sat here yesterday morning and I saw police officers coming to the door. I just thought it was a customer. We have officers who are customers.

"They came in and said 'We have got a warrant to search this premises'. They accused me of making gun parts."

Presented with the "trigger" and "magazine", he explained that one was a spool and the other another part of the printer, to which he said the officer replied: "Oh! OK." "Andrew" was released an hour later on bail.

More: Seven uses for a 3D printer

Police 'cannot categorically say' parts are for 3D gun

Greater Manchester Police assistant chief constable Steve Heywood urged caution over the 3D-printed parts found:

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.

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.

– Steve Heywood, GMP

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How does 3D printing work?

3D printing works by building up layer upon layer of material - typically plastic - to build complex solid objects.

Templates can be bought or downloaded and sent to printers - now available for domestic consumer use - and the products are built in minutes by the machines.

Common uses include jewellery, shoes and mobile phone cases but it is thought in future we will see clothing, medical devices and consumer electronics printed at home in this way.

More: Seven uses for a 3D printer

Plastic gun maker: Printed firearms part of UK's future

US-based plastic gun maker Cody Wilson said 3D printed guns will be part of Britain's future, in an interview with Sky News.

Mr Wilson, who is the founder of a company that publishes gun designs online, said Britain's attitude towards firearms was "schizophrenic".

I'm really excited about, what I call, the digital apocalypse.

I think countries like the UK...where your culture is schizophrenic, scared of itself, post-heroic and is unwilling to deal with the idea that people will have guns again - somehow like it's a feature of Britishness.

I think that's absurd and I can show you that's disappearing.

I'm saying that your future will have these as a feature irrevocably from now to eternity and this is something that's bleeding into the present.

– Cody Wilson

Long prison terms will help tackle 3D gun 'phenomenon'

Lengthy prison sentences for possessing a firearm will help police tackle the potential new "phenomenon" of 3D guns, Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy told Sky News.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy. Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Archive

He said: "We will need to look at this new development but I do think it is crucial that in this country illegal possession of a firearm does attract a very lengthy prison sentence

"As long as that continues, I think that will help as a huge help to us in controlling what might be this new phenomenon about 3D guns."

Police: '3D printed guns' the next generation of firearms

Guns created by 3D printers "could be the next generation of firearms" in the UK, Greater Manchester Police said.

Components needed to create a gun were seized. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

Detective Inspector Chris Mossop said: "These could be the next generation of firearms and a lot more work needs to be done to understand the technology and the scale of the problem.

"If what we have seized today can, as we suspect, be used to make a genuine firearm then today will be an important milestone in the fight against this next generation of homemade weapons.

"I would strongly urge anyone who has information about the whereabouts of a gun in their community to call us."

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Police: '3D printed gun' a really significant discovery

The discovery of a plastic magazine, trigger and the 3D printer used to create them during a search in Bagley, Manchester, was hailed as "really significant" by Greater Manchester Police.

This is a really significant discovery for Greater Manchester Police.

If what we have seized is proven to be viable components capable of constructing a genuine firearm, then it demonstrates that organised crime groups are acquiring technology that can be bought on the high street to produce the next generation of weapons.

In theory, the technology essentially allows offenders to produce their own guns in the privacy of their own home, which they can then supply to the criminal gangs who are causing such misery in our communities.

Because they are also plastic and can avoid X-ray detection, it makes them easy to conceal and smuggle.

– Detective Inspector Chris Mossop

3D 'printed gun' components seized by police

A plastic magazine and trigger, which could have potentially been fitted together to make a gun, were seized by police in Manchester along with the 3D printer that created them.

A plastic magazine was one of the components seized by police. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

The components are now being examined to see if they could have been fitted together to make a viable 3D gun.

The 3D printer seized by police in Manchester. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

The technology works by allowing anyone with a 3D printer - which can be bought on the high street for £1,200 - to download designs for guns or components.

A 3D trigger was also found. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

A man has been arrested on suspicion of making gunpowder and remains in custody for questioning, Greater Manchester Police said.