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Airport screening agents at Reno’s International Airport in Nevada confiscated a plastic handgun produced with by a 3-D printer from a man’s carry-on luggage. Federal official said this might have been the first time a 3D-made gun was discovered as a passenger was trying to bring it on board.
Airport authorities said the plastic firearm was loaded with five .22-caliber bullets, but that it was a replica that could not fire.
“Whether it’s a replica or not, it’s not allowed,” Transportation Security Administration (TSA) spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said, noting that airport security might not always be able to distinguish a real gun from a replica. Dankers added that she did not know whether any other 3-D plastic guns had been found at other airports, but added that her initial inquiries did not find any other cases.
ABC News reports that the passenger was identified as Frederick Vandeman, 64, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who told police he was a medical doctor who owns a 3-D printer and wanted to show his work to colleagues. He also said he had flown with the gun from Indiana and forgot it was in his bag.
According to homelandsecuritynewswire.com Vandelman left the gun and ammunition with security at the airport and was allowed to continue traveling. He was not charged with a crime but will be fined up to $7,500.
ABC New notes that the police report said the early morning American Airlines flight on 4 August was bound for Dallas. It said the FBI was alerted and was waiting to interview Vandeman in Memphis, Tennessee, which was his final destination.
FBI ATF (alcohol, tobacco and firearms) spokeswoman Helen Dunkel said she had no immediate information about the case.
3D all-plastic guns cannot be detected by airport security screening machines. The law on the subject explains that all firearms have some metal parts so them to allow detection.