Yesterday the Yokohama District Court of Japan handed over a historic verdict when they sentenced former a former college employee to 2 years in prison for manufacturing guns using a 3-D printer.
This marks the first time in history that a prison sentence has been dolled out for the crime of using a 3-D printer to make guns. The 28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura made two guns in his own home using a 3-D printer, and was found to be in violate of Japanese law.
This is the revolver that Imura has been sentenced to prison for making:
From The Japan News:
The Yokohama District Court sentenced a former Japanese college employee on Monday to two years in prison for producing guns with a three-dimensional printer.
Yoshitomo Imura, 28, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology, was found guilty of violating laws that strictly restrict the possession of guns and large knives and the production of weapons. The prosecution had demanded a 42-month prison term.
Imura’s actions were “vicious” because he made it easy to imitate his production method, presiding Judge Koji Inaba said, noting that Imura had released 3-D design data for his guns on the Internet.
The accused had “flaunted his skills and knowledge and attempted to make gun controls toothless,” the judge said.
Japan has notoriously strict gun regulations, but Imura’s case is not the first time in the world that authorities have tried to crack down on the burgeoning 3D-printed gun movement: police in the UK seized suspected 3D-printed gun components almost exactly a year ago, only to find out that they were likely just spare parts for the printer. The first 3D-printed firearm with firing capabilities (shown above) was unveiled and demonstrated in early 2013 by Defense Distributed, a cohort of anti-establishment gunmakers from Austin, Texas, who previously expressed support for Imura.
3-D printing guns are an issue of much debate as the prevalence of 3-D printing hits mainstream, and our nation enters a debate on how to regulate the 3-D printing of guns, and the subsequent tracking of the arms. VICE put out a documentary on it in March of last year:
In all likelihood we’ll never see a situation such as this here in the States, as long as the 3-D printers of firearms are taking the necessary steps to register those weapons. We’re not Japan, we don’t care if you own guns, we just need to know that they exist….right? Any feedback you have on this you can feel free to leave in the comments down below, I’m curious what people’s various takes on this are….