Every once in a while the subject comes up: 3D printed guns. The problem about them is that they are often made of plastics, which can easily pass a metal detector. Today we got the news that a 27-year-old man in Japan has been arrested by the police for possessing 3D printed guns. In Japan it’s basically illegal to own a gun, but that didn’t stop Yoshitomo Imura from doing so.
This man made the news earlier this year by posting a video on YouTube to demonstrate his self-designed 3D printed gun, called the Zig Zag revolver. The video was probably meant to promote his 3D printed gun to a public, but it also turned him into being a suspicious person for the Japanese police. They went to his house and found five 3D printed guns, so reports Japanese ANN News. Despite the guns not being loaded, he did got arrested, as possession of firearms is a serious felony in Japan.
His reaction to his arrest was clearly remarkable, as he said: “I made them myself, but, I didn’t know they were illegal. I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.” Maybe he pointed at the fact that there is a possibility for people to earn a gun in Japan after a long series of background checks, which he however didn’t undertake. Below you can see the video which made him suspicious:
The hysteria among 3D printed guns started last year’s May, when Cody Wilson created his first-ever 3D printed plastic gun. In November, the first 3D printed metallic gun followed, which was designed by Solid Concepts. As it’s hard for detection ports to detect plastics, the plastic gun in particular has become an international point of discussion.
In the US, the gun has led to legal problems with the Undetectable Firearms Act. The act was extended during last year’s December, but the law has not been sufficient yet. Since it was an 1988 act, 3D printing developments weren’t in the minds of the makers. The law therefore does not require 3D printed guns to have permanent metal inserts in order to prevent them from passing a metal detector. 3D printed guns, such as the popular Liberator, often include a metal block to make sure it can’t pass through such detectors. However, such a metallic part is easily removable and some American lawmakers believe this could lead to dangerous situations.
Philadelphia and the UK have set a new standard towards 3D printed guns. In the US city as well as Great Britain it is now completely illegal to 3D print any kind of a gun. While the US still has some gaps in its law, Great Britain entirely forbids any kind of printed gun. Violators of this law could end up being held in prison for up to 10 years. Even though the 1968 Firearms Act already banned weapons in the UK made by printing their components, such as the Liberator, this 2013 update has been a groundbreaking renewal of the UK’s law. The law was sharpened after many experts had expressed their concerns about 3D printed guns, especially the plastic versions of the guns.
Credits image: HunterGreen, thingiverse.com.