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Man Jailed for 5 Years for Using 3D Printer to Produce Deadly Weapons with Internet-Purchased Equipment

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A firearms manufacturer who utilized a 3D printer to create lethal weapons using equipment purchased online has been sentenced to five years in prison, marking the first occurrence of its kind in the region. David Biddell-Portman’s residence was visited by the police during a routine check after he legally acquired a blank-firing pistol and 50 rounds of 8mm ammunition in December 2020. Although a relative allowed the officers entry, Biddell-Portman was not present at the time.

A search of his bedroom led to the discovery of two assault rifles inside a wardrobe. In an upstairs cupboard, law enforcement found a 3D printer employed for manufacturing the firearms, alongside a cassette containing plastic materials for printing parts.

3D printers serve legitimate purposes by creating physical objects through the layering of plastic. They have applications ranging from toys and jewelry to furniture. However, upon examination, it was revealed that the assault rifles had been produced using the 3D printer, with steel components added for crucial elements that couldn’t be constructed solely with plastic.

Further investigation of Biddell-Portman’s electronic devices uncovered downloaded software, files, and instructions obtained from an anti-gun control organization, providing guidance on manufacturing the weapons. Additionally, a toolbox in his shed contained bullets, metal gun parts, and other 3D printed plastic components for firearms.

Biddell-Portman, a 30-year-old residing in Neachley Grove, Kitts Green, pleaded guilty to two charges of firearm manufacturing and received his sentence at Birmingham Crown Court today. Detective Inspector Lisa Jackson, from our priorities team, stated, “This marks the first time we’ve seized a 3D printed firearm in the West Midlands, making it a significant discovery for us.

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We are still uncertain about Biddell-Portman’s intentions with these weapons. He claimed to have an interest in firearm mechanics. However, the reality remains that these were lethal weapons, tested and proven capable of discharging live ammunition, potentially leading to fatal consequences. While we acknowledge the rising popularity of 3D printers and their legitimate applications, those contemplating the use of such devices to manufacture deadly weapons should be aware that we will treat them as seriously as any traditional firearm, resulting in lengthy prison terms.”

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Birminghamgist Staff is a News Reporter, making waves in the UK with insightful and Engaging reporting.

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