May 8, 2014

A Japanese man who lives in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegally possessing handguns created by a 3D printer.

Japanese police raided the home of 27-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, an employee at a college, in April, and found five 3D printed pistols, two of which can be loaded with lethal bullets. But they have not found any ammunition for the guns.

Credit: KYODO

Kanagawa police say this is the first time in Japan firearm control law has been applied to the possession of guns created by a 3D printer.

Police launched an investigation after the suspect posted video footage of a 3D printed Zig Zag Revolver 'Made in Japan' and him shooting the guns online, which he claimed to have produced himself.

Officers suspect that the man obtained blueprints for making the guns with 3D printers from overseas websites.

Police say the man has admitted that he has used a 60,000 yen ($589) 3D printer he purchased online to make the guns at home. "I produced the guns, but I didn't think it was illegal." Imura told investigators during the search. "I can't complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns." ANN news reports.

Credit: KYODO

Guns have been controlled in Japan since the late sixteenth century. Japan has very strict firearms control laws and many civilians have never seen a gun and very few people possess guns.

With 3D printing being used to produce almost everything. The first 3D-printed plastic gun, called Liberator, was fired in May 2013. People are worried that 3D printing will also be used to produce plastic guns which can not be detected by metal detectors. In December 2013 the US Congress renewed an expiring ban on plastic firearms.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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Farnix wrote at 5/18/2014 2:58:20 PM:

The fact that he printed with the portabee is just amazing!!

TheOne wrote at 5/18/2014 11:17:49 AM:

Amazing how a piece of metal or plastic, both source from soil and earth, is is a no no in one lump of land mass but is ok in another lump of land mass. This planet is plagued by that nasty virus called people.

Freedom! wrote at 5/16/2014 1:37:04 AM:

The Liberator probably was the one that got him. His video looked innocent enough, with the barrel ends having material down the center. Stick to swords!

Jeff wrote at 5/14/2014 1:44:59 AM:

Just think, the ONLY reason this made the news is that guns are illegal there and he was arrested. And the main (if not only) reason he was discovered was a you tube video he posted. How many people have done similar home projects and not bothered to publicize the results? How many in a country like the US, where a gun is no big deal, won't bother to post a video of it until / unless its somethign a whole lot more refined than the ones he was making? The horse hasn't just left the barn, he kicked over a lantern and lit it on fire as he left. There is no putting this back in the box.

AMnerd wrote at 5/9/2014 1:35:09 PM:

Guys this is probably not the best place to discuss the intricacies of political rights

Just saying wrote at 5/8/2014 9:36:41 PM:

Hey Julio, why don't you get so mad at your country for having an army? That's human nature too you know, starting wars every couple of decades so the sheep can kill each other. Even better, why aren't you mad there is an army AND gun control, when it should be the other way round, as long as there is an army, there should be NO gun control.

Julio wrote at 5/8/2014 5:51:49 PM:

Poor dumb guy. One thing is to make a plastic gun in a country where they are legal and everybody has guns, and besides that, by a laws student who knows how to proceed, and the other is to make a gun where no body has seen one and are strictly regulated. This poor guy apparently didn't know Japan is a no gun country. What with that "freedom of armaments"?? wouldn't it be better a no armaments world? Those who fight for the "right" of having weapons don't understand the human nature.

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