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3D printed gun with bullets
Yoshitomo Imura's 3D printed gun with bullets

Japanese man imprisoned for manufacturing 3D printed guns

Yoshitomo Imura received a two year sentence for printing functional weaponry

Soon we're going to able to 3D print everything, whether it's houses, cars or even weapons. Yoshitomo Imura, an employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology has been jailed for two years by the Japanese authorities for 3D printing pistols that he called the Zig Zag revolver.

Imura posted a video on YouTube of himself assembling and test-firing his homemade revolver towards the end of last year. Unsurprisingly the powers-that-be caught wind of his illegal pet project and raided his home in May, finding two 3D printed revolvers.

Imura, who embellishes his videos with statements such as "Freedom of armaments to all people!! A gun makes power equal!!" has been found guilty of violating Japan’s Swords and Firearms Control law but still has time to appeal the sentencing.

Judge Koji Inaba told Asahi Shimbun: "Holding an opposing view to Japan's legal system, which has strictly restricted the manufacturing and possessing of firearms, he thought about emasculating the gun control system. He intended to demonstrate that firearms could be manufactured easily and publicize that fact widely over the internet. There was an extremely high imitativeness to his acts, which were heinous."

It's no surprise that Imura has fallen foul of the law. Japan has some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. The country has more or less eliminated gun-related homicides, with only 11 reported in 2008 compared with 12,000 in the US.

Imura attempted to absolve himself from any blame by arguing that the guns were harmless because of an alumininium plate inserted into their barrels. However, the court ruled that it would be extremely easy to remove this plate and return the guns to their full lethal capacity.