Japan Makes First Arrest Over 3-D Printer GunsPosted: May 8, 2014
YOKOHAMA – A 27-year-old man who allegedly made handguns with a 3-D printer was arrested Thursday on suspicion of illegal weapons possession, the first time Japan’s firearms control law has been applied to the possession of guns made by this method.
“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”
The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of Shonan Institute of Technology in Fujisawa, Kanagawa Prefecture, had the plastic guns at his home in Kawasaki in mid-April, the police said. No bullets for the guns have been found.
The police launched an investigation earlier this year after Imura posted video footage online of the guns, which he claimed to have produced himself, along with blueprints for them, according to investigative sources.
One of Imura’s postings carried a comment: “The right to bear firearms is part of basic human rights.”
Police searched Imura’s home last month and seized five guns, two which can fire real bullets, the sources said.
Imura, who purchased a 3-D printer for around ¥60,000 through the Internet, was quoted as telling investigators during the search, “I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal.”
“I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns,” he reportedly said.
They believe Imura downloaded blueprints for the guns from overseas websites…(read more)
AFP: A Japanese man suspected of possessing guns made with a 3-D printer has been arrested, reports said Thursday, in what was said to be the country’s first such detention.
Officers who raided the home of Yoshitomo Imura, a 27-year-old college employee, confiscated five weapons, two of which had the potential to fire lethal bullets, broadcaster NHK said.
They also recovered a 3-D printer from the home in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, but did not find any ammunition for the guns, Jiji Press reported.
It is the first time Japan’s firearm control law has been applied to the possession of guns produced by 3-D printers, Jiji reported.
The police investigation began after the suspect allegedly posted video footage on the Internet showing him shooting the guns, the Mainichi Shimbun said on its website.
Officers suspect that he downloaded blueprints for making the guns with 3-D printers from websites hosted overseas, the newspaper said.
The daily said the suspect largely admitted the allegations, saying: “It is true that I made them, but I did not think it was illegal.”
The police refused to confirm the reports, although broadcasters showed footage of Imura being taken in for questioning…(read more)