Oct. 20, 2014 | By Alec

Earlier today, a verdict was reached in the infamous 3D printed gun trial that was being held in the Yokohama District Court in Tokyo, Japan. Presiding Judge Koji Inaba found the 28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, a former teacher at a local college, guilty of violating laws controlling firearms and swords. For printing at least two workable guns using a 3D printer, Imura was sentenced to two years in prison.

This curious case first hit the headlines in early May of this year, and has since dominated debates on what can and cannot be produced with 3D printing technology. Police reportedly raided the home of the then-27 year old Imura in Kawasaki City, where they discovered five 3D printed pistols. While they didn't find any ammunition, at least two of these guns could be loaded with lethal bullets.

Imura reportedly admitted to producing these guns in his own home using a 60,000 yen (less than $600) 3D printer. He also posted a clip online that featured at least one fireable gun labelled as 'Made in Japan'. This first alerted the police to their existence.

Imura's defence council claimed that the defendant had not known that his actions were illegal. Moreover, an aluminium plate had been inserted into the muzzle to prevent the guns from firing. These could, however, be relatively easy to remove without damaging the gun's ability to fire live ammunition. These arguments were therefore dismissed.

According to the decision, the judge felt that the defendant's actions could have caused huge damage to Japanese society. Imura reputedly also disclosed data about 3D printing guns online, which weighed heavily against him. The judge said that these actions encouraged imitation and that he therefore bore grave criminal responsibility. The judge reportedly said 'do not make the gun as moral as its manufacturer.'

Since Imura's arrest in May, a number of Japanese distributors of 3D printing technology have organized a '3D printer Promotion Council' to both educate people about the possibilities of this technology, but also to warn consumers of its dangers. They are currently looking into possibilities to avoid such events in the future, including better cooperation between the industry and the government and a blacklist of design data.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications

Maybe you also like:


yzorg wrote at 11/2/2014 12:40:11 PM:

poor guy. but he could have known better. one just shouldnt 3dprint weapons. its plain dumb.. there never was anything particularly good in weapons. he d better be printing protection equipment and would be making a fortune by now. i just think of the waste of time.. 3d printing guns. every selfmade crossbow is more useful. 3dprinting is cool enough. no need for weapon enthusiasts making the 3D-printer community live more complicated.. over here in europe we had to add rules against weapons in our FabLabs. besides this. killing someone barehanded will get you way more value-credits as a hitman ;)

Dysropa wrote at 10/23/2014 1:11:01 PM:

Same is here in Europe. It is practically impossible to own common guns in most countries.

Responsible owner wrote at 10/21/2014 7:08:21 PM:

Weapons laws go into place so that it is harder for Joe Blow to go around killing people they disagree with. The judge upholds -- doesn't make -- the laws, and you want to burn him alive. That kind of talk only makes lawmakers feel validated in bringing in stricter controls, because you're making the case that gun advocates are a bunch of kill-crazy anti-establishment psychopaths and not reasonable people interested in responsible gun ownership.

Nate Hale wrote at 10/21/2014 3:31:16 AM:

Fμcking Japs. They hate freedom. They love the collective. Just like Ob*ma. Another tyrant.

XYZZZ wrote at 10/20/2014 6:52:52 PM:

Japan needs a revolution. That judge needs to be burned alive. Blood needs to run to kill the people lording over the pleabs.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to

3ders.org Feeds 3ders.org twitter 3ders.org facebook   

About 3Ders.org

3Ders.org provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive