Japanese man arrested for allegedly possessing 3D printed guns

Summary:According to reports, a Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of producing and owning 3D printed guns.

A 27-year-old man has been arrested in Kawasaki, Japan, for allegedly possessing two guns created through the use of a 3D printer.

According to Japanese publication Mainichi, college employee Yoshitomo Imura kept two plastic guns at home after creating them with a 3D printer. Law enforcement became involved after Imura posted videos online showing the guns, in addition to blueprints for others to create them released earlier this year.

Five guns were seized from Imura's home, two of which were capable of firing bullets -- but no ammunition was discovered, according to Japanese police.

Imura reportedly told police, "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."

This is the first documented case of Japanese gun control laws applied in relation to 3D printed weaponry. Officials believe that Imura downloaded the blueprints online, which may violate laws related to the production of firearms.

Law officials across the globe are scrabbling to solve the regulation problem of the general public potentially manufacturing their own weaponry through 3D printers at home. The Internet is already hosting blueprints for the creation of guns, and a brief search on YouTube reveals multiple attempts by enthusiasts to create plastic guns using such files. However, controlling what people download online and from which sources is easier said than done.

See also:

Read on: Mainichi

Image credit: Defense Distributed

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation


Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.