According to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, a 27-year-old man named as Yoshitomo Imura, from the Tokyo area, has been arrested for the alleged possession of illegal firearms, which have been made using a 3D printer.
A total of five guns (two of which were capable of firing bullets) and a 3D printer were seized from the suspect’s home. This is the first arrest of its kind in Japan. Police sources told broadcaster NHK.
Officers acted after the suspect had displayed 3D-printed guns online, sources said. Mr Imura is reported to have said that he had not realised printing the guns was illegal. The investigation was launched a few months ago, back in February, after officers were made aware of some video footage of Mr Imura displaying newly printed weapons.
Desktop 3D printers can be purchased now on the High Street for as little as £500. There are more sophisticated models available, which give a finer finished product. These can cost upwards of tens of thousands for pounds.
A group called Defense Distributed successfully fired the first recorded 3D-printed gun in the United Sates back in May 2013. The group then proceeded to make the blueprints available online. The United States Department of State quickly demanded the instantaneous removal of the blueprints from the group’s website.
It was reported that printed gun parts were thought to have been found in the north west of the UK in October 2013, however, on further investigation the parts turned out to be spare components for a 3D printer.
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[Image via mocoloco]