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Edmonton man faces more than 40 charges after 3D firearms seized in cross-Canada investigation

Click to play video: 'More than 40 charges laid in Edmonton 3D printed firearms seizure'
More than 40 charges laid in Edmonton 3D printed firearms seizure
An Edmonton man is facing more than 40 charges after 3D printed firearms were seized as part of a national investigation. Edmonton police say the rise in homemade firearms has become challenging to investigate and there are calls to regulate the devices used to make the guns. Kabi Moulitharan reports. – Feb 28, 2024

A 29-year-old Edmonton man is facing more than 40 charges after 3D-printed firearms were seized following an investigation with ties to Quebec.

The investigation began in early 2023, when the Edmonton Police Service’s firearms investigation unit was notified by the Quebec provincial police’s firearms team that an Edmonton-based man was allegedly buying parts specifically for 3D-printed firearms from a Montreal supplier.

Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart with the EPS’ guns and gangs section said it’s alleged the accused was importing rail kits, which are specifically designed to go into 3D-printed-type firearms.

Police in Edmonton obtained a search warrant and the man’s house and vehicle were searched on June 20, 2023.

Police said they seized the following items:

  • a large commercial-grade 3D printer and firearm blueprints
  • devices that contained illegal computer code to print firearms frames/receivers
  • three loaded handguns
  • a homemade suppressor
  • 16 privately manufactured Glock-style handguns
  • a steel privately manufactured firearm
  • 27 high-capacity magazines
  • two prohibited semi-automatic firearms (believed to have been smuggled into the country from the United States)

Stewart said one of the firearms was fully functioning and was test fired by police.

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“It works just like a normal handgun.”

Click to play video: '3D printed guns seized in major RCMP operation'
3D printed guns seized in major RCMP operation

Following a year-long national investigation into privately manufactured 3D-printed firearms dubbed Project Reproduction, Roy Evan Tucker was charged by Edmonton police on Feb. 13, 2024.

“3D-printed firearms are not new; however, this is the first significant seizure of them in the Edmonton area and the second-largest seizure part of Project Reproduction in Western Canada,” said Stewart.

“The presence of a manufacturing operation suggests that the accused was preparing to traffic these firearms onto the streets of Edmonton. We are hopeful that by disrupting this operation it has decreased the prevalence of 3D firearms on city streets.”

Stewart said Edmonton has seen a slow and steady increase in the number of 3D-printed and privately manufactured firearms being seized. In 2022, police seized 38 of these firearms and in 2023, 88 were seized.

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“This is a nation-wide problem,” Stewart said, adding these types of firearms are “considerably more dangerous” than those manufactured at a factory.

Stewart explained that 3D-printed firearms lack the safety features and quality control standards of commercially manufactured firearms.

“With the handgun ban being out now, individuals and organized crime groups are finding ways to obtain illegal firearms. This is now a way – a cheap way – to do that if you get involved in manufacturing yourself,” he said during a news conference Wednesday morning.

“You can build this firearm in 12 hours.”

A 29-year-old Edmonton man is facing more than 40 charges after 3D-printed firearms were seized following an investigation with ties to Quebec. Kabi Moulitharan / Global News

Tucker is charged with 13 counts of firearms trafficking (manufacturing), 13 counts of possession of a firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized, possession for the purpose of firearms trafficking, four counts of possession of a prohibited/restricted firearm, nine counts of possession of a prohibited weapon/device and three counts of careless storage of a firearm.

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Stewart said Tucker is a lawful gun owner and was not on the radar of law enforcement prior to this investigation.

“He was not known to police,” Stewart said.

“We would like to remind our lawful gun owners and 3D-printing enthusiasts – unless authorized by the chief firearms officer of Alberta, manufacturing firearms is strictly prohibited.”

Tucker was released from custody on conditions, which Stewart said include not possessing firearms or a 3D printer.

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