In what police believe to be the first charges of its kind in the province, an Alberta man has been arrested for allegedly 3D-printing firearm parts.
According to a release from Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), the investigation began in April 2019, and it has concluded with 53-year-old Dan Forsyth from Picture Butte, Alberta, being arrested on August 18.
The investigation came as the result of a joint initiative between ALERT Lethbridge’s organized crime team and the RCMP’s National Weapons Enforcement Support Team (NWEST).
“Make no mistake, printing 3D firearm parts is a criminal activity. Alberta’s law enforcement team will disrupt and dismantle serious and organized crime in our province, including the printing of 3D firearm parts,” said Kaycee Madu, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, in a release. “Lawful gun owners go to great lengths to comply with provincial and federal gun laws, and our government will not allow those laws to be broken by others.
Police allege that Dan Forsyth was involved in firearm manufacturing, primarily via the use of 3D printers. They say that a search of his home found multiple 3D printers, along with an assortment of manufactured firearm parts, including:
- pistol lower frames
- a rifle receiver and frame
- a bump stock (a device that increases the fire rate of a semi-automatic firearm)
These items were seized by the RCMP Forensic Science and Identification Services lab for examination and ballistics testing. Police said in their release that “preliminary results confirmed the 3D-printed parts were functional and criminal charges would proceed.”
Forsyth is scheduled to appear in court in October and is charged with the following 11 offences:
- offering to traffic firearms
- manufacturing a restricted firearm
- manufacturing a non-restricted firearm
- manufacturing a prohibited device
- possession of firearms for the purpose of trafficking
- possession of a prohibited device for the purpose of trafficking
- unauthorized possession of a non-restricted firearm
- unauthorized possession of a restricted firearm
- unauthorized possession of a prohibited weapon
- unauthorized possession of a prohibited device
- possession of a weapon contrary to prohibition order
Plan for 3D printed gun parts are widely available online; however, the unlicensed manufacturing of firearms in Canada is illegal.