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Southeastern Manitoba man sentenced to jail time for making 3D-printed firearms

A southeastern Manitoba man is heading to prison after pleading guilty to firearms charges, following the discovery of 3D-printed printed guns at his home last year, the Canada Border Services Agency says.

In a Steinbach courtroom on Nov. 3, Ryan Buhler, 35, pleaded guilty to manufacturing and possession of unauthorized firearms, after he was arrested on a number of charges last December, the Border Services Agency said in a Tuesday news release.

In September 2021, CBSA intercepted a suspicious package in Mississauga, Ont., which was addressed to southeastern Manitoba, the agency said earlier this year.

A closer examination of the package — labelled as furniture brackets — found it contained unauthorized firearm components used to assemble a 3D-printed pistol, known as a “ghost gun,” the agency said.

Border Services criminal investigators in Winnipeg started an investigation, and with the help of RCMP, searched a residence in the rural municipality of Hanover on Dec. 16, 2021.

Two 3D-printed Glock-type pistols, a 3D printer, three non-restricted firearms, digital devices and a personal amount of ammunition were found in the search, CBSA said.

A black rifle sits on a table, along with ammunition clips, a pistol and a grey square-shaped printer.
A CBSA photo shows firearms, ammunition and the 3D printer they say were seized in the search. Last month, a 35-year-old man from the rural municipality of Hanover pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized firearm manufacturing and one count of unauthorized firearm possession. (Submitted by Canada Border Services Agency)

Buhler was arrested and charged with several offences. After a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized firearm manufacturing, and one count of unauthorized firearm possession.

He was sentenced to three years on the first charge and two years on the second, but those sentences will be served concurrently.

So-called “ghost guns” are a serious and growing risk that the CBSA and other law enforcement agencies are working to address, Minister of Public Safety Marco Mendicino said in Tuesday’s release.

In 2021, Border Services officers across Canada seized 1,122 firearms, more than double the number from 2020, according to the agency.

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