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Japanese man who 3D printed guns sentenced to two years in prison

He appears to be the first person ever jailed for 3D printing a gun.
By Thor Benson   |   Oct. 20, 2014 at 8:58 PM

KAWASAKI, Japan, Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A 28-year-old Japanese man named Yoshitomo Imura appears to be the first person to ever be sentenced to a prison term for 3D-printing guns. He will get two years in prison for violating Japan's strict weapon laws.

Imura produced two guns with a 3D printer in his home at the end of last year and still had them by April of this year, the ruling said, according to The Japan News. He was formerly an employee at the Shonan Institute of Technology, and the judge referred to his acts as "vicious" because of the fact he had released his designs online for others to imitate. The judge claimed he attempted to make gun control laws "toothless."

The design of the gun was similar to that of the first ever 3D-printed gun, made by Defense Distributed in Austin, Texas last year, The Verge notes. Earlier this month, Defense Distributed released a $1,200 machine called the "Ghost Gunner" that allows you to print the aluminum lower receiver of an AR-15 rifle in just hours. Government authorities have been troubled by the creations coming from Defense Distributed, but no one from the company has been sentenced for a crime.

"Yoshitomo Imura is a person of strong character and virtue under unfavorable circumstances. He expressed with his work only virtue, but this virtue is ostracized by his society," Defense Distributed wrote in a blog post when the case first began.

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© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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Earth's magnetic field may soon flip, according to new data

Satellite data shows the Earth's magnetic field is weakening very quickly.
By Thor Benson   |   Oct. 20, 2014 at 8:29 PM

BERKELEY, Calif., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- A lot of people were concerned the Earth's magnetic field would suddenly reverse at the end of the Mayan calendar, but that didn't happen. However, new data suggests that could happen within the next 100 years.

What that means is north on a compass would point toward what is now south and vice versa. The new data, collected by scientists from Italy, France, Columbia University and the University of California, Berkeley shows such a shift happened within a 100-year time period around 786,000 years ago. Such a reversal tends to happen after a rapid period of weakening in the magnetic field, which evidence shows we are currently experiencing.

There's little need to worry. While the scientists who discovered this admit it could affect the electrical grid, they don't seem concerned. They note that cancer rates could theoretically go up during a period of little to no magnetic field protection from cosmic rays, but the world will not end. "Reversals are the rule, not the exception," NASA pointed out when discussing the possible event in 2012. Reversals have happened many times in the planet's history. "A reversal might, however, be good business for magnetic compass manufacturers," NASA joked.

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© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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