Technology

Japan man held over '3D-printed guns'

3D printed gun
The world's first 3D-printed gun

A 27-year-old man from near Tokyo has been arrested for allegedly possessing guns made with a 3D printer, according to the Japan Broadcasting Corporation.

Five guns, two of which could fire lethal bullets, and a 3D printer were seized from Yoshitomo Imura's home, police sources told broadcaster NHK.

The first arrest of its kind in Japan, officers acted after he had displayed 3D-printed guns online, sources said.

Mr Imura reportedly said he had not realised printing the guns was illegal.

No live ammunition was found.

The investigation was launched in February after officers were made aware of video footage of Mr Imura displaying newly printed weapons, the sources added.

Defense Distributed

Desktop 3D printers can be bought on the High Street for as little as £500, with more sophisticated models costing tens of thousands.

The world's first 3D-printed gun was successfully fired in the US in May 2013 by a group called Defense Distributed, who made the blueprints available online.

However, the United States Department of State quickly demanded the immediate removal of the blueprints from the group's website.

Printed gun parts were thought to have been found in the UK in October 2013, however the parts turned out to be spare components for a 3D printer.

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