Police arrested 27-year-old Yoshitomo Imura, a university official from Kawasaki City, after he posted a video of himself firing a 3D-printed six shooter called the Zig Zag revolver. Imura was employed at the Shonan Institute of Technology and owned a $500 home 3D printer.
The trouble started when Imura printed and fired the Zig Zag in a video posted 25 weeks ago. In the video we see him assemble the primitive gun and fire blanks. Imura wrote:
It appears that Imura raised hackles in Japan back in March when the Zig Zag first appeared on Japanese television. This week police raided his home and found five 3D-printed guns as well as his cheap 3D printer.
Japan has long upheld the Japanese Firearm and Sword Act which essentially outlaws guns in the country. The law states:
What does this mean for the future of 3D-printed guns in Japan? Clearly the police see the manufacture of any firearm to be an offense and the same goes for the 3D-printed models. In short, the police treated Imura as if he had manufactured a firearm using more traditional methods. Regardless of medium and material, then, a gun is a gun.