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Japanese man arrested for possessing 3-D printer guns

A Japanese man was arrested Thursday of possessing guns made with a 3-D printer, which became the first such detention in the country, local media reported.

The suspect, Yoshitomo Imura, a 27-year-old college employee, kept five plastic guns at his home in Kanagawa Prefecture, two of which had the potential to fire lethal bullets, investigative sources told broadcaster NHK.

They also recovered a 3-D printer from Imura's home close to Tokyo, but did not find any ammunition for the guns.

According to Kyodo News Agency, Imura posted video footage on the Internet of the guns, along with blueprints for them earlier this year, which made the police decided to launch an investigation.

Imura recognized that he produced the guns, but claiming that he did not think it was illegal. "I can't complain about the arrest if the police regard them as real guns," he said.

It's the first time Japan's firearm control law has been applied to the possession of guns produced by 3-D printers. The rapid development of 3-D printing technology, which allows relatively cheap machines to construct complex physical objects by building up layers of polymer, has proved a challenge for legislators around the world.


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