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3D Printed Guns: Legitimate Hobby or Criminal Enterprise?

3D Printed Guns: Legitimate Hobby or Criminal Enterprise?

Manufacturing a firearm by hobbyists is a long-standing tradition in Canada, but it is not without its responsibilities.

A home hobbyist gunsmith typically manufactures a gun to test their skills and abilities, and all in pursuit of their hobby.

Edmonton’s Roy Evan Tucker, 29, is no firearms hobbyist.

He is [allegedly] a criminal who, according to the Edmonton Police Service (EPS), set up an illegal firearms manufacturing operation with the intent to distribute the illegal firearms he created.[i]

Tucker faces 43 criminal charges, including

  • firearms trafficking (manufacturing) (13 counts)
  • possession of firearm knowing its possession is unauthorized (13 counts)
  • possession for the purpose of firearms trafficking
  • possession of prohibited/restricted firearm (4 counts)
  • possession of prohibited weapon/device (9 counts), and
  • careless storage of firearm (3 counts).

Police may never know if they caught Tucker before he sold any of his 3D-manufactured guns, but are “hopeful” they did.

“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,” said Staff Sergeant Eric Stewart of the EPS Guns and Gangs Section.

Jackie Carmichael, in the Edmonton Journal, wrote, “Tucker was a lawful gun owner and was not on law enforcement radar.”

Carmichael attributes that thought to S.Sgt. Stewart, but does not quote him directly, nor is it mentioned in the EPS press release.

The statement suggests Roy Tucker was licensed to possess firearms, but not to manufacture them.

To manufacture firearms, a business (not an individual) requires authorization from the Alberta Chief Firearms Officer.

Public Safety Canada states[ii],

  • In Canada, all firearms, regardless of how they are manufactured, are classified as non-restricted, restricted, or prohibited pursuant to the criteria outlined in subsection 84(1) of the Criminal Code.
  • It is a criminal offence under section 99 of the Criminal Code (weapons trafficking) for any person to manufacture “a prohibited firearm, a restricted firearm, a non-restricted firearm, a prohibited weapon, a restricted weapon, a prohibited device, any ammunition or any prohibited ammunition knowing that the person is not authorized to do so under the Firearms Act or any other Act of Parliament or any regulations made under any Act of Parliament”.
  • It is also illegal to possess a firearm without the appropriate licence and applicable registration certificate, if required.



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