More and more police operations in Europe detect weapons created with plans from the internet in 3D printers .
European police agency Europol has warned of the “current and future threat” posed by 3D -printed weapons , of which an increasing number have been seized across the continent.
“The threat posed by 3D-printed weapons is very much on Europol ‘s radar , as the number of such firearms seized in investigations in recent years across Europe has increased,” he said in a statement. .
Europol , which invited more than 120 law enforcement professionals – ballistics experts, forensic scientists, policy makers and academics – to a special conference in The Hague this week, stressed that international cooperation is “crucial to be able to counter the threat “.
With internet plans
In 2019, two people were shot dead in Halle, Germany, by an attacker who used a homemade weapon made in part with a 3D printer , using a blueprint downloaded from the internet, Europol detailed .
In April 2021, Spanish police raided and dismantled an illegal 3D-printed weapons workshop in the Canary Islands, seizing two 3D printers , weapon parts, a replica assault rifle, several manuals on urban guerrilla warfare and literature on white supremacy.
The owner of the workshop was arrested and charged with illegal possession of weapons.
A month later, two men and a woman were arrested in the city of Keighley (United Kingdom), as part of an investigation into right-wing terrorism.
All three were accused of possessing 3D printed weapon components .
Europol underlined that this week’s conference is “one of the world’s largest exchange platforms on the threat of 3D-printed weapons .”
“This challenge can only be addressed by combining the experience, resources and knowledge of law enforcement, the private sector and academia to get these types of weapons off the streets,” said Europol expert Martin van der Meij.