Man Sentenced To Two Years For Creating 3D-Printed Guns
While 3D printing made waves in the industry by being applicable in medicine, food and construction departments, it made us wonder how long will it be before this wonder shows its negative impact on the society. It was not long before the results were on our tables: we heard of the Japanese university employee who had created guns and firearms through 3D printing in the comfort of his home.
Yoshitomo Imura had created plastic guns that were capable of firing bullets, according to The Japan News. After his videos and blueprints of the 3D-printed guns went viral online, he was arrested in May this year.
A video uploaded on file-sharing websites shows the creation and firing of a 3D-printed “Zig Zag” revolver capable of firing six .38 caliber bullets. The video had been captioned as “Freedom of armaments to all people!!” and “A gun makes power equal!!”.
Japan is known for its notoriously strict gun laws. As an estimation, while there are 297 gun murders for every 10,000,000 people each year in the United States, Japan boasts of just one. In 2012, a total of 15 people were murdered in Japan due to guns, while in United States, more than 15 murders were recorded in a single weekend in just Chicago.
Since Imura’s arrest, many people had been speculating on what the sentence for Imura would be. Prosecutors called for three and a half years in prison. However, today Imura has been sentenced to two years in jail by Yokohama District Court for violating the laws regarding weapons.
Though the defendant remained persistent in saying he was aloof to the laws regarding 3D-printed guns, the prosecutors for the case argued that Imura’s actions could have caused major damage to society as he had made data for his 3D-printed guns widespread on the Internet.
“This has shown that anyone can illegally manufacture guns with a 3D printer, flaunting their knowledge and skill, and it is an offense to make our country’s strict gun controls into a dead letter,” stated Presiding Judge Koji Inaba.
Imura’s sentence can still be appealed by his attorneys. But still, it will certainly be used as an example by authorities to prevent others from printing out weapons at home so easily.
However, those who still intend to commit any violence with a 3D-printed gun are the ones who are least bothered with the consequences of their actions. As governments all over the world are taking steps to tackle the rise of technological crimes, Japan with its laws and this sentence has already set the standard for how such concerns should be best dealt with.