Science & Technology

German Police to Begin Making 3D-Printed Guns

In order to test their effectiveness


The 3D-printed gun may find its most robust testing program in the German police force. 

When asked by Germany's Left Party in parliament whether 3D-printed weapons were a  legitimate concern, the Federal Criminal Police, known as the Bundeskriminalamt, or the BKA, said it had purchased a 3D printer to see whether inexpensive, mostly plastic, and quickly produced firearms are in fact a real threat—or perhaps even a cost-cutting measure for the police themselves.

Since May, when nonprofit Defense Distributed produced the "Liberator" handgun and whipped up an international debate by posting the designs online, 3D-printed firearms have become sensitive ground within the otherwise exciting, and safe, maker movement.