Despite UK gun control laws, 3D-printed guns showing up

Despite UK gun control laws, 3D-printed guns showing up
(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

I’m not a gadget guy, for the most part, but I’m still blown away by 3D printing.

To me, the ability to render something in a computer and have it turned into something real and tangible with a device you bought from Amazon is beyond fascinating.

Unsurprisingly, this technology has been a boon to the Second Amendment. Now, people can produce their own firearms whenever they want and trust they’ll have the means to remain armed no matter what.

But many others see this technology and recognize what it means for gun control. Basically, gun control is dead.

Unfortunately, it seems folks in the UK haven’t gotten the memo.

UK police have uncovered the country’s largest collection of 3D-printed gun parts within a factory located in North West London.

On 7 October 2022, two men aged 20 and 40 were arrested on firearms offences after police raiding a home in North West London discovered a hoard of the said 3D-printed parts.

The two men have since been interviewed at a London police station and have been released on bail until November. According to Scotland Yard, 3D-printed firearms are becoming an increasingly worrisome issue on the streets of London. Due to the rapid development of the technology, plans for printable semi-automatic rifles, carbines, and pistols are readily available online.

Most of these blueprints come from the US, with 3D-printed gun designers posting the plans to thousands of their followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. The fact that these designs are freely available on the internet means anyone with access to a 3D printer can simply download them and begin crafting their own deadly weapons at home—something which gun control activists have warned officials about.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police has stated, “We believe this is one of the largest seizures of 3D-printed firearm components ever in the UK. The components were found during a raid at a home in North West London on Friday, 7 October.”

I hate to break it to folks, but there’s literally no way to put this particular genie back in the bottle, even if we were so inclined. As they say, the internet is forever and even attempts at preventing the dissemination of these files outside of the US are easily thwarted.

Gun control isn’t happening, I’m afraid, and UK officials would do well to recognize that fact.

Yet the death of gun control doesn’t mean there’s nothing that can be done to combat violence. There are tons of ways we can address the issue, they just don’t involve restricting gun ownership in any way.

Especially since we know none of that stuff actually works in the first place.

Unfortunately, it’s going to take the 3D-printing revolution to force the hands of lawmakers to eventually recognize that when it comes to criminals getting guns, it really is a case of “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”

3D printing is just one of those ways, but gun control has been a losing proposition from the start. We just need people in places like the UK to wake up to that reality.