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

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.”

Ohio’s response to Uvalde shooting: a new law arming teachers with guns after just 24 hours of training

In the aftermath of the deadly Uvalde school shooting last month—where an 18-year-old gunman killed 21 people, 19 of which were children—a nationwide-cry for gun control has gripped US politics, but perhaps not directly in the ways people had hoped. In impeccably ironic timing, Ohio’s new gun laws, first presented in March 2022, came into effect this week and brought changes that would make it more accessible for school staff, including teachers and bus drivers, to carry guns in the state. This has been accomplished by cutting the required training hours from 700 to just 24.

The legislation, named House Bill 99, was signed into law by Republican Governor Mike DeWine and officially came into effect on Monday 13 June 2022. Those aged 21 and above would also no longer be required to carry a permit for their weapon or even complete the eight-hour course that educates you on carrying and concealing a gun under the bill. Basically, they’ve just made it even easier for people to get their hands on the weapon in question. The law has also dropped the need for such firearm carriers to inform police officers of their concealed weapon. However, they must divulge the same when asked.

According to The Guardian, DeWine’s statement after the bill passed earlier this month was as follows: “My office worked with the general assembly to remove hundreds of hours of curriculum irrelevant to school safety and to ensure training requirements were specific to a school environment and contained significant scenario-based training.” He continued by thanking the state’s law body “for passing this bill to protect Ohio children and teachers.”

The governor went on to further elucidate that school districts still have jurisdiction over whether or not they permit or prohibit guns on their individual school grounds—making the decision ultimately theirs. While arming their staff will not be a requirement, all parents of children at the school must be notified if they wish to do so. School boards will also have the authority to mandate additional training hours beyond the new 24 hour rule state law, as reported by The Guardian.

It goes without saying that the move has received obvious backlash and criticism from politicians, police and teachers alike. Both The Ohio Federation of Teachers and Ohio Education Association pressed the Republican governor to veto the bill alongside the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio—who previously argued that 24 hours is not enough training time, as noted by Insider. Past research has shown that there is simply very little evidence (if any) that suggests arming teachers has an effect on reducing fatality in school shootings or even the frequency of the shootings themselves at all.

The state’s Republican lawmakers have additionally stated that the bill was a “doing something” as a reaction to the recent Uvalde mass murder. However, as reported by The Guardian, Democratic politicians in Ohio have rejected these claims—stating that this is not the gun reform people wanted. “They’re not asking for no guns. They’re asking for background checks,” state representative Juanita Brent, a Democrat from Cleveland said upon the bill’s passing.