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.
– Detective Inspector Chris Mossop
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.