A 27-year-old Japanese man was arrested in Kanagawa recently for producing firearms. It may sound like a lot of work to manufacture your own firearm but this man created his much more easily than you thought.
Some time ago, this man bought a 3D printer off the Internet at around 60,000 yen (around SGD$800). He downloaded the blueprints for printing a handheld gun from the Internet, modified parts of the data and printed his own weapons, which turn out to be more powerful than the original ones he downloaded. When police raided his apartment, they found five of such weapons, two of which were found to be five times more deadly than standard level lethal force. They didn’t find live ammunition on him but an inspection revealed that bullets fired with the guns could penetrate 10 sheets of plywood of 2.5 millimetres each.
Police took note only after he uploaded a video of himself firing one of the guns. He said he didn’t know it was illegal since they weren’t “actual guns,” but goes on to announce his stance in believing that owning guns is a basic right for self-defense. This only goes to show that there could be a lot more people with such printed weapons out there unknown to the rest of the world.
The fact that 3D printers use resin to print poses another security issue in that, since no metal parts are used, they cannot be detected with a metal detector. And since there are no official regulations at the moment, people can basically print anything they want. If someone can think of printing guns, then I’m sure there will be people printing more deadly weapons.
The good news is we can probably also print a bullet-proof vest.