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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
3D-printed gun pieces. (CC/Wikimedia/Vvzvlad)
3D-printed gun pieces. (CC/Wikimedia/Vvzvlad)

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."

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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.

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"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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