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First conviction for manufacturing a 3D printed firearm

20 June 2019

A man has been convicted of manufacturing a firearm using a 3D printer, the first conviction of its kind in the UK.

First conviction for firearms manufacture using a 3D printer (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

On Wednesday, 19 June at Southwark Crown Court, Tendai Muswere, 26, pleaded guilty to a charge of manufacturing a firearm, namely a 3D printed gun.

This is believed to be the first conviction of its kind in the UK.

Officers executed a drug warrant at Muswere’s home in October 2017 and during the course of the operation found components of a 3D printed gun, capable of firing a lethal shot. Muswere, who does not hold a firearms licence, told officers that he was printing the firearm for a university project. He claimed not to be aware that the components he had made were capable of firing. He later refused to comment on what his film project was about.

A search of his internet search history revealed that he had viewed videos demonstrating how to use a 3D printer to manufacture firearms which fired live ammunition. 

First conviction for firearms manufacture using a 3D printer (Credit: Metropolitan Police)

A second raid on Muswere’s home in February 2018 resulted in the discovery of further components of a 3D printed gun.

Acting Detective Sergeant Jonathan Roberts, from the Central West CID, who led the investigation, said: “Muswere claimed that he was printing the firearms for a ‘dystopian’ university film project, but he has not explained why he included the component parts necessary to make a lethal barrelled weapon. We know that Muswere was planning to line the printed firearms with steel tubes in order to make a barrel capable of firing.

“This conviction, which I believe is the first of its kind relating to the use of a 3D printer to produce a firearm, has prevented a viable gun from getting into the hand of criminals and is an excellent example of great partnership working between Detectives, neighbourhood police and our forensic colleagues.”

Source: Metropolitan Police

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