Reporter Simon Murphy carried the plastic gun on to a London to Paris service in the weekend rush-hour
The Mail On Sunday today exposes the massive international security risk posed by a gun that can be easily made with new 3D printers.
We built the weapon, which is capable of firing a live round, from blueprints available on the internet – then smuggled it on to a packed Eurostar train.
Two reporters passed completely unchallenged through strict airport-style security to carry the gun on to a London to Paris service in the weekend rush-hour, alongside hundreds of unsuspecting travellers.
Once on board the packed 5.31pm Eurostar train on Friday, the reporters were able to assemble the pieces to create a fully functional firearm, and pose for pictures close to unsuspecting passengers
The pistol, capable of firing a deadly 0.38-calibre bullet, was produced in under 36 hours using a revolutionary £1,700 machine to ‘print’ its components. And because all the parts are plastic, they did not trigger the metal detectors all Euro-star passengers must pass through.
Last night, the train operator began an urgent investigation into the security breach as experts called for airports and public buildings to review their procedures in light of our revelations.
The Mail on Sunday pieced together the 16-part pistol – called The Liberator by its creators – after downloading the designs. They were originally published by an American university student, who proved the design works by successfully firing a bullet on a shooting range.
The blueprints have since been downloaded more than 100,000 times and are now widely available, despite attempts to remove them.
Made entirely of plastic except for a small firing pin and ammunition, the gun presents a huge problem for security services around the world, as it can be broken down into parts that do not set off metal detectors and may not show up on conventional body and bag scanning devices.
To test the procedures at St Pancras International Station, the gun produced by the MoS was split into three pieces and concealed in the clothing of two reporters who bought standard class tickets to Paris.
We then walked through the usual security procedures, manned by UK Border officials. We placed our luggage and metal objects, including loose change and watches, in plastic trays which were then passed through airport scanners. But although we were carrying parts of a potentially deadly weapon, we were able to walk through a metal detector without triggering the alarm.