U.K. police seize parts from gun made on 3-D printer

Oct 25, 2013, 6:51 AM EDT
Undated handout photo made available by Greater Manchester Police in northern England Friday Oct. 25, 2013 of a 3D printer used to make plastic gun components which was found by officers during a raid on suspected gang members in the Bagley area of Manchester.
(AP Photo/Greater Manchester Police)

LONDON (AP) — British police said Friday they have seized components of a gun made from plastic on a 3-D printer and are testing to see whether it was a viable weapon.

The Greater Manchester Police force said officers found a plastic magazine and trigger, along with a 3-D printer, in a raid against suspected gang members.

Forensic specialists are examining the parts to see whether the gun would have worked.

Police said that if the gun were viable it would be the first such seizure in Britain.

Earlier this year a Texas company said it had successfully test-fired a handgun created with a 3-D printer, and posted blueprints for the weapon online. Such printers can be paired with a home computer to manufacture objects using layers of high-density plastic.

Authorities worry the technology could allow anyone to manufacture guns which would pass unnoticed through metal detectors.

"These could be the next generation of firearms and a lot more work needs to be done to understand the technology and the scale of the problem," said Detective Inspector Chris Mossop of the force's organized crime unit.

Police said one man was being questioned on suspicion of making gunpowder.