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Edmonton police charge man with 43 offences related to manufacturing 3D-printed firearms

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Police have charged an Edmonton man with several firearms offences as part of a national investigation into 3D-printed guns.

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) on Wednesday announced 43 charges against Roy Tucker, 29.

In June, the EPS firearms investigation unit used warrants to search Tucker's home, finding and seizing "a significant 3D printed firearms manufacturing operation," according to a media release from police.

The unit's investigation began early last year after Quebec police alerted their Edmonton counterparts of his purchases of parts specific to 3D-printed firearms.

The bust on June 20 saw police seize major maufacturing components including a large commercial-grade 3D printer and firearm blueprints, devices that contained illegal computer code to print firearms frames/receivers, 20 handguns, 27 high-capacity magazines and two prohibited semi-automatic firearms believed to have been smuggled into the country from the U.S.

Charges against Tucker include 13 counts of firearms trafficking (manufacturing) and 13 counts of possession of firearms knowing they're unauthorized, among others.

Staff Sgt. Eric Stewart of the EPS guns and gangs unit said while 3D-printed firearms aren't new, this case marks the first significant seizure of them in Edmonton and the second-largest such seizure in western Canada.

"3D-printed firearms are of a particular concern for police nationwide," Stewart said at a media conference Wednesday morning.

He said police are turning more focus onto 3D gun manufacturers as a result as the firearms produced are often untraceable and "can be produced quickly using easily accessible materials and blueprints available online."

"I think the message is ... if you're going to go down the road of manufacturing firearms and you are caught, there are severe consequences for something like this," Stewart said.

"Police agencies, provinces, our country, even across North America, this is something they take very seriously. These are called ghost guns. They're untraceable. We don't know the source of violent offences and shootings, and that's not helpful to law enforcement." 

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