Japanese Man Arrested On 3D Printed Firearms Possession Charges

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Japanese Man Arrested On 3D Printed Firearms Possession Charges

Several of the plastic weapons are capable of causing injury.

A 27 year old resident of Kawasaki, Japan, has been arrested on charges of illegal possession of firearms, all of which were created by 3D printer technology. The police discovered five plastic weapons and a 3D printer at the suspect's home, and two of the firearms were later proved to be capable of killing or wounding, according to a report by public broadcaster NHK. This is believed to be the first time that a man has been arrested in Japan for printing his own guns.

"I made the guns by the 3D printer at home. I did not think it was illegal," the suspect is quoted as telling police. Firearm blueprints were found on the suspect's computer, which are believed to have been downloaded from the internet. The police have declined to comment on the case.

The suspect is known to have made several social media and Twitter comments justifying possession and manufacture of guns, and is said to have posted YouTube videos showing him firing what appears to be a 3D printed pistol. He's alleged to have claimed that gun restrictions are a violation of human rights.

According to the Jiji news agency, in addition to the printed weapons the suspect also possessed ten toy guns.

Source: Reuters

Permalink

Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

3D printers are still expensive though, right?

In the US this guy would be a hero with massive media coverage.

kajinking:
In the US this guy would be a hero with massive media coverage.

Depends. If he was doing it illegally(which the man here was), he would just be seen as a common criminal. If he was doing it legally and got in trouble, then he would be seen as a hero.

OT: Poor guy didn't know any better. Although he still had it coming because he didn't check if there were any laws against this. I wonder if he is going to stand up against law, and if so change it. Although the possibility of that is slim at best.

Oh boy. Just imagine when every house has a 3D printer, and the design of these guns isn't so poor that you'll probably end up blowing off your hand. I imagine finding bullets to shoot out of 3D printed guns would be rather difficult.

I imagine this guy will probably be praised as a hero in America. GUNS ARE TEH FREEDOM YEAH.

In all seriousness, he has the right to think firearm access is a basic human right, and taking them away is a violation of his basic human rights. Unless he's planning an overthrow of the government, he has to work within the system to get things changed. There is a small window in which people will recognize protesting, and usually possession isn't seen as political dissonance.

If he wants to make a difference, he should try to get things changed within the countries laws. Printing a few guns isn't going to change laws - and, to be honest, they probably won't offer him much self defense. Unless the potential harasser takes pity on them for the gun misfiring and blowing off the guys hand. Seriously - no matter how many times they test these, they're still made from cheap plastic resin. Bullets are controlled explosions that get really hot. Recipe. for. disaster.

The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

My first thought was "no way would these work, they would melt when fired". Shows me being an engineer, I suppose.

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

Dat hyperbole.

OT:
Yeah no. I'm good off of that. I don't want to get killed by the equivalent of a high-tech Nerf gun that shoots real bullets.

Although I suppose it's inevitable before it can be distributed illegally with some frequency given the tech operated is still entirely legal, just the manufacturing isn't.

Where would he get the bullets to use the guns?

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

From what I hear, guns are usually remotely tested on a range before they are put in the hands of a customer. Although, for most well made firearms, this is not a problem. A well built M16 has less of a chance of blowing up in your face then your average toaster.

hazard99:
Where would he get the bullets to use the guns?

You can make them yourself. From what I understand, you only need a few machines and materials to make them yourself.

So it's not legal to make plastic firearms that may or may not work as a hobby, but it is legal for the government to spend billions of dollars (trillions of yen) building a nuclear power plant in a known danger zone against mountains of protest and evidence, that then is destroyed in a natural disaster leading to the deaths of thousands of people, the abandonment of thousands of innocent animals, the loss of a city, the destruction of a large portion of the country, fallout in other countries and the ocean, and an endless circle of blaming the other guy. Yeah, Japan is a civilized country all right.
Oh, and apparently, since no one else here has mentioned it, spies on people's Internet activity.

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

You can already make a much more lethal firearm with $5 worth of materials at the hardware store -- a section of pipe, an endcap, and a nail can be made into a shotgun. Then if you have a simple metalshop, let alone a CNC setup, you can build most submachineguns from scratch pretty easily -- every military in WWII made a submachinegun designed to be made from stamped steel, cause they're cheap and easy to make (compared with the Thompson, for instance, which is milled).

When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

hazard99:
Where would he get the bullets to use the guns?

That is a very potent question. Doubt you'll ever get a satisfying answer. This is about the right of power and politicians' fears of undetectable firearms. Probably the same reason you can't buy a cell phone without GPS built in. Which is why I don't have a cell phone. I won't comment on firearms.

UNHchabo:
You can already make a much more lethal firearm with $5 worth of materials at the hardware store -- a section of pipe, an endcap, and a nail can be made into a shotgun. Then if you have a simple metalshop, let alone a CNC setup, you can build most submachineguns from scratch pretty easily -- every military in WWII made a submachinegun designed to be made from stamped steel, cause they're cheap and easy to make (compared with the Thompson, for instance, which is milled).

When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

This reminds me of an episode of Mythbusters where they go to a prison which displays weapons made by inmates using only materials they could get hold of. On top of all the crude shivs some clever sod had made what looked like a pistol and a submachine gun. 3D printing is really just about making a homemade gun that is prettier and a bit safer.

Guy should have hid the gu ns better...out in plain sight.

All he had to do was print them with a screw-on attachment on the bottom (just in front of the trig ger)that makes it so they can screw onto plastic bottles filled with water, Windex or something and anyone looking at it would think it's a squirt/spray bottle.

Seriously. That's the first thing I thought when I saw those was that they look like the spray parts of squirt bottles.

Store them like that under the kitchen or bathroom sink and no one would think twice.

epicdwarf:
OT: Poor guy didn't know any better. Although he still had it coming because he didn't check if there were any laws against this. I wonder if he is going to stand up against law, and if so change it. Although the possibility of that is slim at best.

It shouldn't be the responsibility of an individual citizen to be knowledgeable of what is legal or not so much as what is wrongdoing or not. In printing out guns for what was evidently a collection, he was not causing harm. He was not infringing on the rights of others. In that regard, his actions do not rise to the level of penalization beyond, maybe, confiscation of the printed weapons.

I get that we instinctively want to respect authority and the code of law, but that presupposes that the authorship of our laws is done with wisdom and the best interests of the community, which is commonly not the case. Perhaps more often than it is.

238U[1]

[1] As of this posting I have not received a US National Security Letter or any classified gag order from an agent of the United States.
This post does not contain an encrypted secret message
Thursday, May 08, 2014 1:01:29 PM
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RatherDull:

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

3D printers are still expensive though, right?

Depends on quality and how much is expensive to you. 3k is pretty spendy, but that's the high end of the versions commercially available, and excluding the industrial 3D printers because those are going to run in Millions. Still 3K is well within the range of possible of most people if they desperately wanted one. The mid to low range can get as cheep as 500 and that's basically a 3D printer for about as much as you'd spend on a new game system with a couple of games. Those are within the price range of the general population.

They're just not that good. Only the crazy want a 3D printer so they can see their 3D creation delaminate over a short period of time. Which is, in part, why these 3D printed guns shatter after only a few tries. They're good for people who are working to improve them, and people who are working on developing designs that will work better when excellent 3D printers become available.

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

Zip guns, aka, guns that are made out of anything, are highly illegal in the US. On par with making explosives.

Namely because the pose the same threat, a decently made pistol wont explode in your hand unless you neglect proper maintenance on it but a pistol made out of wood, some old rusted pipe, a nail and a rubber band? yea, there are easier ways to hurt yourself.

However, while the current generation of 3-d printed firearms is still laughable, the future of them could become both dangerous and safer.

Accidents with printed ones will cause people to look for better materials, better materials will increase the quality of said firearm.

Give it a good decade or so and even the most under-funded police department could issue it's officers with decent service pistols.

of course when it comes to weapons it's a literal arms race between criminals and law-abiding citizens.

What I;m waiting for, as an American and a gun owner? I'm waiting for 3-d printed ballistic plates for vests.

Current ones in body armor can run $300 to $700 a piece [which there are usually 6-8 plates per vest [chest, back, lower back, groin, shoulders and neck], and while I'm not about to risk my life a bit of plastic on my chest, I would like to see that made instead of little one shot pistols.

UNHchabo:
When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

I've never quite understood that line of reasoning.

If someone is a CNC operator and has access to their equipment, they tend to be either employed or well-off. What is their incentive to illegally manufacture firearms? Especially when the risks include a few decades in federal prison at best, or a short-lived conversation with the authorities (doubly short if involving the ATF).

Common crooks on the other hand tend not to have these jobs skills. They just get professionally built guns off the black market (or in the US, use the private sales legal loophole).

The only modern market for improvised guns are in developing nations. At which point you have to seriously start worrying about the quality.

OT: I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Steyr AUG, which can be made almost entirely of plastics.

Yes, this is also very much illegal in America. A quick google search shows that you can generally get up to 10 years in prison for it. I have to think that once these printers become cheap and everywhere (and print metal) it will probably be the end of gun control everywhere in the world. As crazy a libertarian as I might be sometimes, it's a fairly scary notion to think untraceable guns will be accessible for almost everyone everywhere near instantly. I wonder if this will be the catalyst for more monitoring of the internet. Even then, it wouldn't be difficult to trade physical thumb drives with the plans on them, no matter how totalitarian governments got trying to fight it. Frightening. I'm glad I'm not having children.

RelativityMan:

UNHchabo:
When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

I've never quite understood that line of reasoning.

If someone is a CNC operator and has access to their equipment, they tend to be either employed or well-off. What is their incentive to illegally manufacture firearms? Especially when the risks include a few decades in federal prison at best, or a short-lived conversation with the authorities (doubly short if involving the ATF).

Common crooks on the other hand tend not to have these jobs skills. They just get professionally built guns off the black market (or in the US, use the private sales legal loophole).

The only modern market for improvised guns are in developing nations. At which point you have to seriously start worrying about the quality.

First off, private sales aren't a "loophole". Even if private sales are legal in your area, you still go to prison if you sold a firearm to someone you knew, or reasonably should have known, was either a criminal, or going to use the firearm for criminal purposes. Most private sales are between two people who know each other, and who both already legally own guns, so a background check on those sales only wastes time and money. Criminals, on the other hand, know they're breaking the law by making that sale, but do it anyway. It's disingenuous to say you could stop them from selling to each other by putting another legal requirement in the middle.

On-point though: it's currently unlikely that a CNC operator would risk their livelihood to produce firearms for criminals, but if they were banned? I'd imagine the temptation would be higher, as would the reward for doing so. Drug cartels find professional chemists to work for them, after all...

There's more than just CNC though; like I said, a much more basic metal shop is all you'd need to produce most of the stamped-steel submachineguns, which make up a decent portion of the homemade firearms that police find in South America.

What did he intend to do with them? Throw them at people? Good luck finding rounds in Japan.

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

Scary how?

owning gun a human right...

sure, every man has the right to kill another man

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

Working is a bit of stretch. Sure, they might fire, but they are no where near as effective as a metal firearm. At least, as far as I've heard, 3d printed firearms single shot, and highly inaccurate, not to mention having decreased muzzle velocity.

kajinking:
In the US this guy would be a hero with massive media coverage.

Actually no, such weapons are also illegal in the US under an old law banning firearms capable of evading metal detectors.

Rabid_meese:
Oh boy. Just imagine when every house has a 3D printer, and the design of these guns isn't so poor that you'll probably end up blowing off your hand. I imagine finding bullets to shoot out of 3D printed guns would be rather difficult.

they're engineered to use the same bullets as other firearms.

I imagine this guy will probably be praised as a hero in America. GUNS ARE TEH FREEDOM YEAH.

see above

In all seriousness, he has the right to think firearm access is a basic human right, and taking them away is a violation of his basic human rights. Unless he's planning an overthrow of the government, he has to work within the system to get things changed. There is a small window in which people will recognize protesting, and usually possession isn't seen as political dissonance.

what ghandi and King Jr did wasn't originally seen as protest either, but petty criminality. Sometimes that's what it takes. I don't think Japan has many legal routes for citizens to directly influence government, but I'm not an expert.

If he wants to make a difference, he should try to get things changed within the countries laws. Printing a few guns isn't going to change laws - and, to be honest, they probably won't offer him much self defense. Unless the potential harasser takes pity on them for the gun misfiring and blowing off the guys hand. Seriously - no matter how many times they test these, they're still made from cheap plastic resin. Bullets are controlled explosions that get really hot. Recipe. for. disaster.

Again, as I said, some times the best way to change something is to violate the law. I don't think that was his intent, but it is unwise to say that meaningful political change only happens within the system. In almost all cases, working within the system is not enough.

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything.

see above, this is not legal in US either.

But to most people of countries with better

stricter. There is a great deal of evidence calling "better" into question.

gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

hazard99:
Where would he get the bullets to use the guns?

3d printed guns are designed to use normal ammunition. If you're asking how ammunition is regulated in Japan, I don't know.

UNHchabo:

shadowxvii:
Wait...NHK? This is clearly a conspiracy !

Still, pretty scary thing, now that anyone with a computer and a 3D printer can get an actual working gun....

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

You can already make a much more lethal firearm with $5 worth of materials at the hardware store -- a section of pipe, an endcap, and a nail can be made into a shotgun. Then if you have a simple metalshop, let alone a CNC setup, you can build most submachineguns from scratch pretty easily -- every military in WWII made a submachinegun designed to be made from stamped steel, cause they're cheap and easy to make (compared with the Thompson, for instance, which is milled).

When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

Actually no, a firearm barrel is much more advanced than a piece of pipe. It's better grade steel, for one, and hammer-stamped barrels of the type you are suggesting require careful heat treating after they are forged.

Kalezian:

rasputin0009:
The story may sound crazy to Americans who can legally make a gun out of anything. But to most people of countries with better gun laws, it's reasonable. Just the fact that the guns have a pretty high chance of exploding in your own face is good enough of a reason to make it illegal to print them.

Zip guns, aka, guns that are made out of anything, are highly illegal in the US. On par with making explosives.

actually no. It is perfectly legal for citizens to modify and manufacture firearms within the US, so long as you don't intend them for sale(which requires a dealer's licence) and so long as the weapon itself is not illegal for some reason, such as being fully automatic or too short. You might be required to use a manufactured barrel, but I am not sure, and those are easily available anyway.

RelativityMan:

UNHchabo:
When criminals can't get guns through their normal methods (theft, bribery, or smuggling), they're still be able to do so by making them.

I've never quite understood that line of reasoning.

If someone is a CNC operator and has access to their equipment, they tend to be either employed or well-off. What is their incentive to illegally manufacture firearms? Especially when the risks include a few decades in federal prison at best, or a short-lived conversation with the authorities (doubly short if involving the ATF).

Common crooks on the other hand tend not to have these jobs skills. They just get professionally built guns off the black market (or in the US, use the private sales legal loophole).

The private sales or "gun-show loophole" is a god damned myth. According to the ATF 0.7% of firearms used by criminals in the US were purchased in this way. The majority are purchased from illegal sellers or crooked dealers, with almost as many coming from straw purchases, and the next most common being stolen weapons. Then you have pawn shops and similar and way down, literally at the bottom of the list, is private sale "loop-hole"[quote]

NuclearKangaroo:
owning gun a human right...

sure, every man has the right to kill another man

I think you mean "every man has the right to self-defense"

spartan231490:

NuclearKangaroo:
owning gun a human right...

sure, every man has the right to kill another man

I think you mean "every man has the right to self-defense"

which still involves killing/hurting someone else

even the most gun loving fanatic there is must admit owning a gun is not a human right, the mere idea is simply ridiculous

NuclearKangaroo:

spartan231490:

NuclearKangaroo:
owning gun a human right...

sure, every man has the right to kill another man

I think you mean "every man has the right to self-defense"

which still involves killing/hurting someone else

even the most gun loving fanatic there is must admit owning a gun is not a human right, the mere idea is simply ridiculous

Hurting someone to stop them from committing a crime is acceptable or our police forces wouldn't be armed.

Effective self-defense is a human right. In this age, that means gun ownership. The idea is not ludicrous at all.

spartan231490:

NuclearKangaroo:

spartan231490:
I think you mean "every man has the right to self-defense"

which still involves killing/hurting someone else

even the most gun loving fanatic there is must admit owning a gun is not a human right, the mere idea is simply ridiculous

Hurting someone to stop them from committing a crime is acceptable or our police forces wouldn't be armed.

Effective self-defense is a human right. In this age, that means gun ownership. The idea is not ludicrous at all.

hurting another human being is not a right, one could argue the opposite is the duty of each citizen

im not going to dive into yet another gun ownership discussion going nowhere

lets just end this by saying gun ownership is not considered a human right, neither self-defense for that matter, atleast as far as i understand

the right to live however, is one of the most important human rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_life

i believe is not up to the common citizen to act as judge or executioner

you might be in favor of gun ownership, but its not a human right, period

NuclearKangaroo:

spartan231490:

NuclearKangaroo:

which still involves killing/hurting someone else

even the most gun loving fanatic there is must admit owning a gun is not a human right, the mere idea is simply ridiculous

Hurting someone to stop them from committing a crime is acceptable or our police forces wouldn't be armed.

Effective self-defense is a human right. In this age, that means gun ownership. The idea is not ludicrous at all.

hurting another human being is not a right, one could argue the opposite is the duty of each citizen

being able to protect yourself is, even if doing so requires hurting your aggressor. Every advanced nation recognizes this fact.

im not going to dive into yet another gun ownership discussion going nowhere

lets just end this by saying gun ownership is not considered a human right, neither self-defense for that matter, at least as far as i understand

then you should look again. Every advanced nation recognizes the right of citizens to defend themselves with force when required.

the right to live however, is one of the most important human rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_life

i believe is not up to the common citizen to act as judge or executioner

you might be in favor of gun ownership, but its not a human right, period

You have not shown that, but if you want to assume it and consider your job done, you can do so.

NuclearKangaroo:

spartan231490:

NuclearKangaroo:

which still involves killing/hurting someone else

even the most gun loving fanatic there is must admit owning a gun is not a human right, the mere idea is simply ridiculous

Hurting someone to stop them from committing a crime is acceptable or our police forces wouldn't be armed.

Effective self-defense is a human right. In this age, that means gun ownership. The idea is not ludicrous at all.

hurting another human being is not a right, one could argue the opposite is the duty of each citizen

im not going to dive into yet another gun ownership discussion going nowhere

lets just end this by saying gun ownership is not considered a human right, neither self-defense for that matter, atleast as far as i understand

the right to live however, is one of the most important human rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_life

i believe is not up to the common citizen to act as judge or executioner

you might be in favor of gun ownership, but its not a human right, period

Uh, I can't say I really care to get into a discussion on gun ownership either, but wouldn't the right to self-defense be considered an extension of the right to life? Someone is trying to infringe on your right to live - you're simply protecting that right by preventing them.

Saetha:

NuclearKangaroo:

spartan231490:

Hurting someone to stop them from committing a crime is acceptable or our police forces wouldn't be armed.

Effective self-defense is a human right. In this age, that means gun ownership. The idea is not ludicrous at all.

hurting another human being is not a right, one could argue the opposite is the duty of each citizen

im not going to dive into yet another gun ownership discussion going nowhere

lets just end this by saying gun ownership is not considered a human right, neither self-defense for that matter, atleast as far as i understand

the right to live however, is one of the most important human rights

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_life

i believe is not up to the common citizen to act as judge or executioner

you might be in favor of gun ownership, but its not a human right, period

Uh, I can't say I really care to get into a discussion on gun ownership either, but wouldn't the right to self-defense be considered an extension of the right to life? Someone is trying to infringe on your right to live - you're simply protecting that right by preventing them.

i think rights are to be protected by governments and organizations, not individuals

spartan231490:
Snip

I'm aware 3D printed guns shoot the same ammo as real guns. In a country where you can't really get access to fire arms, I doubt they have reliable access to ammunition either. It doesn't make sense to sell bullets in a department store if the only thing you can put bullets in is illegal.

The Liberator is also not illegal - you can make one legal simply by inserting a metal plate inside it. This is what Wikipedia says, so grain of salt, but I imagine the gentleman who made this would have had his ass in cuffs if these violated that law.

You can contend that what MLK and Ghandi did was illegal, and you'd be correct, but there are several differences. First off, they preached peace. Guns aren't peaceful. Even for home and self defense, the point of using a firearm is to blow a hole in the would-be harmer to incapacitate or kill them. Preaching peace, love, tolerance, and equality of the law for all citizens is on a different level then "I want a gun".

Not to mention, possession of an illegal substance isn't usually covered by protest. I can't inhale marijuana as a protest of the illegal nature of marijuana. And if I do, I end up in jail. Regardless if I knew it was illegal or not. If he believes guns are great, and a civil right, the very worst thing he could do is obtain a gun to make that point.

NuclearKangaroo:
i think rights are to be protected by governments and organizations, not individuals

Your thinking is flawed. The government and organizations(by that I assume you mean the police?) cannot be everywhere and effectively protect everyone. Individuals, however, are everywhere people are. Therefore, individuals can effectively protect everyone, everywhere.

Does that mean shooting/killing the aggressor is the best option? Of course not; a broken leg can incapacitate an opponent just as well as a fatal chest wound. So can tasers. But guns are easier to use (they are designed so a 5 year-old can figure 'em out after all), so they're the go-to weapon.

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