A Canadian man has been sentenced to twelve years in jail for 3D printing weapons.
According to CTV News, the 18 year old offender was part of a gun trafficking ring. The court was told that at least 11 handguns had been manufactured.
For those unfamiliar, the concept here is that only key components of the weapons are 3D printed, as they represent the part that carries the legal serial number. The rest of the weapon is assembled from non-serialized parts, typically marketed as kits for this purpose.
From the CTV News report:
“According to an agreed statement of facts, during the course of this illicit business partnership, Prince manufactured and trafficked at least 11 handguns. Court heard that 3D printers are widely available, and the materials used are inexpensive. Judge Don Slough noted during the sentencing it would cost less than $500 to start making these guns.”
Images from CTV News above show some of the weapons in question, in addition to a 3D printer. From the image, it appears to be a slightly modified Creality Ender-3. These are currently available for less than US$200.
The offender, who was only 18 years old at the time of arrest and had no prior offenses, was sentenced to twelve years in jail, less time served in custody, which amounted to almost a year. They will be in jail until age 30, it appears.
This seems to be the longest prison sentence I’ve heard for 3D printing illicit weapons so far. However, it’s important to note that in this situation it was not just a case of someone making a gun; it was a production facility that had been supplying them to criminals.
It’s also likely the authorities sought a very strong sentence as a deterrent against others considering taking up this line of business.
Via CTV News