3D-printed guns are London’s newest problem, and its largest collection has just been uncovered

By Sam Wareing

Published Oct 13, 2022 at 11:47 AM

Reading time: 1 minute

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UK police have uncovered the country’s largest collection of 3D-printed gun parts within a factory located in North West London.

On 7 October 2022, two men aged 20 and 40 were arrested on firearms offences after police raiding a home in North West London discovered a hoard of the said 3D-printed parts.

The two men have since been interviewed at a London police station and have been released on bail until November. According to Scotland Yard, 3D-printed firearms are becoming an increasingly worrisome issue on the streets of London. Due to the rapid development of the technology, plans for printable semi-automatic rifles, carbines, and pistols are readily available online.

Most of these blueprints come from the US, with 3D-printed gun designers posting the plans to thousands of their followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The fact that these designs are freely available on the internet means anyone with access to a 3D printer can simply download them and begin crafting their own deadly weapons at home—something which gun control activists have warned officials about.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police has stated, “We believe this is one of the largest seizures of 3D-printed firearm components ever in the UK. The components were found during a raid at a home in North West London on Friday, 7 October.”

“The raid was part of an operation involving officers from the Met’s ‘Operation Viper’ team, who lead on developing firearms intelligence,” they continued. Operation Viper is a Met Police task force who primarily deal with potential firearms threats and subsequently remove them from the streets of London.

Commander Paul Brogden was quoted on Twitter, informing the public: “This operation demonstrates how we continue to relentlessly target those who attempt to put lethal firearms on the streets of London.”

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