Central West man arrested over blueprint to 3D-print a gun

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A 26-year-old Central West man has been arrested by counter-terrorism police for allegedly possessing a blueprint to 3D-print a gun and making “significant preparations” to manufacture a firearm. Mitchell Thomas Priest, 26, from Orange has been charged over the digital blueprint – banned by NSW firearm laws – which was allegedly found on his phone after police raided his home on Friday. His home was searched by counter-terrorism police after a brief investigation into the importation of firearm components by an alleged supporter of ideologically motivated violent extremism. A search of his phone allegedly uncovered a digital blueprint to manufacture a firearm – an offence carrying a maximum of 14 years in prison. READ ALSO: Police allege Priest had also been importing “legally obtained items” to be used for manufacturing weapons over the past 14 months. The investigation began less than two weeks ago, when customs officers intercepted a firearm component inside a package addressed to a home in Orange. Further investigation by the NSW joint counter-terrorism (JCTT) team identified the man listed as the addressee for the package as a supporter of ideologically motivated violent extremism, police said in a statement. Priest appeared via audio-visual link before Orange Local Court on Monday, where he was refused bail by Magistrate David Day. The matter will return to court later in September. As part of the operation, another 31-year-old Orange man was served with a firearms prohibition order. Footage provided by police shows a Nazi flag, not thought to be Priest’s, hanging in a bedroom of the property raided on Friday. Australian Federal Police Commander Stephen Dametto warned that the potential for the use of 3D printers to make firearms was a serious threat to community safety. “The potential for 3D printers to print firearms, or their components, is something police are constantly monitoring, and we will take action if we have evidence a person intends to manufacture a firearm,” he said. “We will allege the man the man charged by the JCTT has demonstrated support for extreme ideological views. The JCTT acted early to prevent him manufacturing a firearm, even though he allegedly made significant preparations to be able to do so.” NSW Police Detective Superintendent Mick Sheehy said it was illegal to possess blueprints for the manufacture of firearms, whether on a device or stored in a cloud. “With the emergence of technologies, particularly in 3D-printing, authorities are proactively conducting inquiries into online activity and monitoring both the licit and illicit movement of firearms and firearm parts,” he said. “Police continue to uncover evidence of all types of illicit firearms, including homemade firearms, which are often crudely manufactured or assembled. “These types of firearms add another layer of risk in terms of the safety of the community as they are unstable, and many are unable to maintain integrity once fired. We will not hesitate to take action if we believe there is a possibility that a firearm could land in the wrong hands.” Investigations continue. Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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A 26-year-old Central West man has been arrested by counter-terrorism police for allegedly possessing a blueprint to 3D-print a gun and making “significant preparations” to manufacture a firearm.

Mitchell Thomas Priest, 26, from Orange has been charged over the digital blueprint – banned by NSW firearm laws – which was allegedly found on his phone after police raided his home on Friday.

His home was searched by counter-terrorism police after a brief investigation into the importation of firearm components by an alleged supporter of ideologically motivated violent extremism.

A search of his phone allegedly uncovered a digital blueprint to manufacture a firearm – an offence carrying a maximum of 14 years in prison.

Police allege Priest had also been importing “legally obtained items” to be used for manufacturing weapons over the past 14 months.

The investigation began less than two weeks ago, when customs officers intercepted a firearm component inside a package addressed to a home in Orange.

Further investigation by the NSW joint counter-terrorism (JCTT) team identified the man listed as the addressee for the package as a supporter of ideologically motivated violent extremism, police said in a statement.

Priest appeared via audio-visual link before Orange Local Court on Monday, where he was refused bail by Magistrate David Day. The matter will return to court later in September.

The two men were arrested in Orange on Friday. Photo: NSW POLICE

The two men were arrested in Orange on Friday. Photo: NSW POLICE

As part of the operation, another 31-year-old Orange man was served with a firearms prohibition order.

Footage provided by police shows a Nazi flag, not thought to be Priest’s, hanging in a bedroom of the property raided on Friday.

Australian Federal Police Commander Stephen Dametto warned that the potential for the use of 3D printers to make firearms was a serious threat to community safety.

“The potential for 3D printers to print firearms, or their components, is something police are constantly monitoring, and we will take action if we have evidence a person intends to manufacture a firearm,” he said.

“We will allege the man the man charged by the JCTT has demonstrated support for extreme ideological views. The JCTT acted early to prevent him manufacturing a firearm, even though he allegedly made significant preparations to be able to do so.”

NSW Police Detective Superintendent Mick Sheehy said it was illegal to possess blueprints for the manufacture of firearms, whether on a device or stored in a cloud.

“With the emergence of technologies, particularly in 3D-printing, authorities are proactively conducting inquiries into online activity and monitoring both the licit and illicit movement of firearms and firearm parts,” he said.

“Police continue to uncover evidence of all types of illicit firearms, including homemade firearms, which are often crudely manufactured or assembled.

“These types of firearms add another layer of risk in terms of the safety of the community as they are unstable, and many are unable to maintain integrity once fired. We will not hesitate to take action if we believe there is a possibility that a firearm could land in the wrong hands.”

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

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