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Japanese man arrested for allegedly possessing 3D printed guns

Posting in Technology

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.

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Read on: Mainichi

Image credit: Defense Distributed

— By on May 8, 2014, 3:01 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure