The Ontario Provincial Police continue their formidable battle against what is becoming an alarming proliferation of 3D-printed firearms, or so-called ‘ghost guns’. This emerging trend in illicit arms production is causing heightened concern due to the weapon’s ability to release actual bullets.
“Regrettably, some of these 3D firearms are perfectly operational,” acknowledged acting Sgt. Rob Lewis of Ontario Provincial Police. The worryingly authentic replication of these 3D-printed guns is a stark reality – with their firing mechanisms and designs mirroring traditional guns. This uncanny resemblance increases accessibility for criminals, and conversely, imposes an onerous task for Police forces attempting to trace these weapons.
“Their unregistered and untraceable nature brands them as illegal right away,” Lewis explained. He continued to highlight the blatant violation of firearms regulations, noting that, “All restricted firearms are legally obligated to have a serial number and originate from a certified manufacturer.”
Just recently, a triumphant seizure resulted from the collective effort of the Ontario Police and their municipal counterparts in North Bay. Among the haul were two loaded 3D-printed handguns, a 3D printer, ammunition, manufacturing accessories, and 40 grams of fentanyl. The successful operation was spearheaded by the Joint Forces Guns and Gangs Enforcement Team, which led to the subsequent charging of a 29-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man.
“The singular reason for manufacturing these guns is bound to criminal intentions,” Lewis asserted. “There is no practical or legitimate need for them.”
This challenging phenomenon has extended beyond just the Ontario Provincial Police. The former OPP commissioner and current public safety analyst of CTV News, Chris Lewis, concurs with the concern regarding these 3D-printed firearms. He stressed their particularly troubling nature due to being assembled at home and therefore lacking a serial number.
“The thought that people can possess a 3D printer, acquire plastic, and order the necessary metal components to create a firearm, is deeply unsettling,” expounded Lewis. He anticipates an edgy response from the police, saying, “If confronted with someone wielding one of these, the response might be fatal.” He also highlighted that the all-plastic composition of certain 3D printed guns allows them to evade detection by metal detectors.
This technological advancement in criminal weaponry is increasingly prevalent in Canada’s criminal underworld and disseminating across North America. “We’re experiencing a noticeable surge in their usage among criminals,” Lewis confessed.