(U) Criminals and violent extremists continue to seek ways to acquire firearms through the production of privately made firearms (PMFs). PMFs can be easily made using readily available instructions and commonly available tools, require no background check or firearms registration (serial number) under federal law, and their parts have become more accessible and affordable. This, combined with the increase in law enforcement recoveries of nonserialized and counterfeit firearms in criminal investigations, will most likely create increasing challenges in law enforcement investigations, including weapon accountability access and tracking. PMF awareness and identification can aid PMF recovery, prevention of illicit activities including terrorism, and overall first responder and public safety.
(U) NOTE: Many of the activities described herein may involve Constitutionally protected activities and may be insignificant on their own. Action should not be taken solely based on the exercise of Constitutionally protected rights.
(U) PMF-RELATED OBSERVABLE INDICATORS: The following observable indicators may be related to PMF manufacturing and awareness of these indicators by law enforcement and security personnel will increase recognition of possible suspicious PMF use. This awareness, coupled with other factors, may enable the detection and prevention of unlawful violent activity. It is important to note that by themselves, some of the following indicators are lawful and Constitutionally protected and taken alone, would not warrant law enforcement action or additional investigation. Behavioral indicators and other relevant circumstances should be evaluated when considering any law enforcement response or action.
••(U) Assistance on making “undetectable firearms.”
••(U) Discussion on ways to avoid detection at security checkpoints while carrying a firearm as well as making low to nonmetallic content firearms.
••(U//FOUO) Queries by known violent extremists seeking people with experience with computer-assisted design, or 3D printing.
••(U//FOUO) Inquires on ways to sell or purchase a finished, wholly plastic 3D firearm.
••(U) The presence of 3D printers or materials during calls to service, warrant executions, or other such encounters related to suspected firearms.
••(U//FOUO) Reports from federal firearms licensees identifying people suspected of manufacturing PMFs or converting them from semiautomatic to fully automatic based on customer purchases, conversations, and questions.
••(U) Acquisition of other commercial firearm-related items that are known PMFs.
••(U//FOUO) Abnormally large number of orders from Internet firearm suppliers to a single address in states with more regulations.
••(U//FOUO) An increase in the number of unsuccessful traces (confirmed hits) on recovered firearms.
••(U) Recovery of unconventional firearm designs and firearms that look innocuous as opposed to the standard handgun profile or caseless ammunition.
••(U) PMFs may have a homemade appearance (indentions, scratches, attempts to drill out holes) or frame destruction.
••(U//FOUO) Inquiries to 3D printing service providers to produce firearms, weapons, or other potentially dangerous items.
••(U//FOUO) Use of false identification to obtain 3D printing services.
••(U//FOUO) Accessories such as 3D printing medium (plastic, ceramic, or metal spools), scanner, or 3D printers, along with bombmaking and weapons production materials encountered by emergency responders during an incident.
••(U) Presence of homemade gun kits.