Skip to content

3D-printed guns and printers seized from Central Alberta homes

Canada-wide investigation into illicit firearms trafficking
3D-printed firearms, handguns and rifles that were seized from a home in Penhold and a home in Innisfail as part of a cross-Canada police investigation known as Project Reproduction. (Photo contributed by Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams)

3D printers along with 3D-printed firearms and parts were seized from homes in Penhold and Innisfail on June 21 as part of a Canada-wide investigation into illicit firearms trafficking.

ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams) found four 3D printers in a home in Innisfail, along with two completed 3D-printed firearms, nine various 3D-printed firearm parts, and 15 3D-printed suppressors.

“At the time of the search, one was in the middle of printing a suppressor,” said ALERT communications director Mike Tucker about one of the printers.

At a home in Penhold, investigators seized one 3D printer, 3D-printed parts, and eight conventional firearms that included handguns and rifles with some 3D-printed parts attached.

ALERT also conducted search warrants that day at homes in Grande Prairie, Brooks, Lloydminster, and Lac Ste. Anne County based on criminal intelligence provided by Quebec’s integrated team against firearms trafficking known as EILTA as part of Project Reproduction.


Central Alberta homes searched during investigation into 3D-printed guns

A total of seven homes were searched in Alberta and items seized included eight 3D printers; 11 completed 3D-printed firearms; 45 incomplete 3D-printed firearms, including frames and receivers; 21 3D-printed firearms suppressors; eight handguns; 72 long-barrel firearms; and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Tucker said this was ALERT’s largest seizure of 3D-printed firearms to date and it’s part of an alarming trend. The majority of firearms were black, tan or olive in colour, but some looked like plastic toy water guns in neon green and purple.

“They may look like toys, be in different colours, but present a very real threat to our communities.”


Millet resident arrested for 3D printing firearms

Project Reproduction had search warrants executed across eight provinces and 46 different municipalities. Nationally, a total of 440 firearms were seized, including 71 3D-printed firearms and 62 handguns.

“This was a wide cross-section of communities and suspects. We’re still learning more about who these suspects are and what type of activity there were involved with in respect to 3D firearms and possible connections to organized crime,” Tucker said.

None of the Alberta suspects have been formally charged as of yet. ALERT’s investigation remains ongoing and investigators are preparing reports and disclosure for Crown counsel.

Firearms ballistics testing is being completed by the Edmonton-based firearms examination unit.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
Read more