It was bound to happen sooner or later; it just happened to be in Japan.
On Tuesday, a Japanese man became the first person in the world to be sentenced to prison for making 3D-printed plastic guns.
Yoshitomo Imura, a 28-year-old former university employee, made at least two plastic guns that were capable of firing bullets, violating Japan’s stringent national gun laws.
According to the Japan Times, Imura was arrested back in May for uploading this video showing how to make his plastic gun, dubbed the ZigZag.
The soundtrack is probably what landed him in jail.
The judge said that Imura “flaunted his skills and knowledge and attempted to make gun controls toothless.”
Here in the US, 3D-printed guns are equally as controversial, but not as regulated. Last year, Defense Distributed created The Liberator, the world’s first functioning 3D-printed plastic gun. They also released the schematics for the gun’s design online, without legal repercussions – at least none yet.
Last month, the company released the Ghost Gunner – a desktop CPC machine that converts 80-percent complete AR-15 lower receivers into fully functioning parts, all done in roughly an hour. Defense Distributed previously expressed support for Imura, who seems to have modeled his design after The Liberator.
Imura’s arrest wasn’t the first time police have cracked down on 3D-printed firearms. Last year, UK police confiscated 3D-printed gun components that they later found out were spare printer parts. Whoops.
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