Japan Jails Man for 3D Printed Guns
The Internet vs the law.
May 14, 2014 - 11:00 am
With its notoriously strict gun control laws, this story should come as no surprise:
Yoshitomo Imura allegedly downloaded and printed five plastic guns, two of which could fire real bullets. He was arrested last month, but the news was only revealed on Thursday. It’s believed to be the first arrest made for possession of 3D-printed guns in Japan, a country with extremely strict gun laws. A law passed in 1958 forbids a person from possessing a “firearm or firearms or a sword or swords,” although it lists list several exceptions.
Imura defended himself, saying he didn’t know it was illegal to own a plastic gun.
“I produced the guns, but I didn’t think it was illegal,” Imura said, according to Japan Times. “I can’t complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns.”
This one guy was caught and arrested, and to this American reader, strangely sanguine or even passive about it. But the internet is undermining all kinds of laws, in all kinds of places, in all kinds of unexpected ways.