In a raid this morning on a Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang member house in the west of Melbourne, police have seized 3D printers and other equipment allegedly used to manufacture firearms. Along with drugs and ammunition, the police raid on the group has found consumer-grade desktop 3D printers, which have the potential to be used to produce single-use firearms or to manufacture components to convert semi-automatic weapons to fully automatic.
The Herald Sun reports the raids, on two properties in Melbourne's west early this morning, were conducted by Victoria Police's Taskforce Echo — which was set up to investigate and break up outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCGs) in the state. One of the properties, in the suburb of Seabrook, contained 3D printers and a Herald Sun photograph shows what is thought to be a Flashforge model which supports printing in ABS and PLA plastics.
Plastic 3D printers are generally unsuitable for printing reliable firearms, because the high temperatures of the combusted gases in ammunition can melt the material used. However, single-use 3D printed firearms like the Liberator pistol have easily printable blueprints which are widely available on the internet despite a US Department of State mandate for the files to be taken down by the creators Defense Distributed.
Echo Taskforce detectives have arrested two men and a woman, all with links to the Mongols OMCG after executing two warrants in Seabrook and Oakleigh South this morning. Police executed warrants at Mintaro Way in Seabrook and Fleming Court in Oakleigh South about 6am. Ammunition, 3D printers, equipment for manufacturing firearms and a small amount of drugs were seized from the Seabrook property.
3D printers, used by criminals to make guns, seized in Mongols bikie raid this morning @theheraldsun
— David Hurley (@davidhurleyHS) May 25, 2016