In what is likely the first imprisonment related to 3D printing, a Japanese man was sent to jail on Monday for making guns with a 3D printer. According to, 28-year-old Yoshitomo Imura was found guilty of making two guns at home with a printer and then publishing a video online showing people how they could to the same – a crime for which he will spend two years in jail.

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Imura, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology found information online to build the guns, but his lawyers argued he didn’t know his actions were illegal. The court rejected their argument with Judge Koji Inaba of the Yokohama District Court stating that “(t)he criminal responsibility for this act is serious” because it could encourage others to do the same.

Related: Philadelphia Becomes First U.S. City to Ban 3D-printed Guns

Guns made with 3D printers are already a big problem in the United States, with some cities and states beginning to ban them or enact laws regulating them. Aside from being unregulated, 3D-printed guns pose a problem because they aren’t detectable with regular security equipment like scanners at airports, which raises concerns about people using them in hijackings.

It’s ironic that Japan is the first nation to send someone to jail for building a 3D-printed gun since the nation has such strict firearms control laws that few people own guns or have ever even seen one.


Images via Wikimedia Commons