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Shinzo Abe killing: homemade gun used in attack was simple to make

Ju-min Park and Daniel Leussink, Reuters

Printed Saturday, July 9, 2022 9:50AM EDT

The person suspected of killing former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe with a hand-made gun on Friday may have made the weapon in a day or two after acquiring available supplies corresponding to wooden and metallic pipes, analysts say.

The assault confirmed gun violence can’t be completely eradicated even in a rustic the place robust gun legal guidelines imply it’s virtually exceptional for residents to purchase or personal firearms.

There have been some instances in recent times the place folks illegally made weapons themselves in Japan. However nonetheless, gun crime may be very uncommon in Japan: final 12 months there have been 10 capturing incidents, eight involving gangsters, in line with police information. One particular person was killed and 4 wounded.

“The making of weapons with a 3D printer and the manufacturing of bombs can these days be realized off the web from anyplace on this planet,” mentioned Mitsuru Fukuda, a Nihon College professor specialised in disaster administration and terrorism.

“It may be executed in two to a few days after acquiring components corresponding to pipes,” mentioned Fukuda, who analyzed photos of the gun utilized in Abe’s capturing.

Video photos confirmed the assailant fired at Abe with a tool that had a pistol grip and what seemed to be two pipes coated in black electrical tape. Police arrested a 41-year-old man on the scene and mentioned he had admitted capturing Abe; the suspect was later recognized as Tetsuya Yamagami.

“Anybody with a primary understanding of how weapons work may have made it with minimal information,” mentioned firearms commentator Tetsuya Tsuda, including that it could not even have taken half a day to fabricate the weapon used within the assault.

Japanese media mentioned on Saturday the suspect had instructed investigators he had searched on-line for directions on find out how to make firearms, and ordered components and gunpowder on the web as nicely.

The gun measured 40 by 20 centimeters (15.7 by 7.9 inches), and was manufactured from supplies corresponding to metallic and wooden, officers from the Nara prefectural police instructed reporters on Friday.

The police didn’t rule out the chance that the bullets have been additionally made by hand, however mentioned they have been nonetheless investigating.

Investigators seized what seemed to be 5 hand-made weapons from Yamagami’s home, the Mainichi newspaper reported on Saturday.


“Crude, but deadly, craft-produced (…) firearms corresponding to this are easy to make,” mentioned NR Jenzen-Jones, an arms and munitions intelligence specialist of the Australia-based Armament Analysis Companies.

The photographs of the firearm confirmed that {an electrical} wire handed by way of the cap on the top of every pipe.

That pointed to the usage of an electrical firing mechanism, Jenzen-Jones mentioned.

“{The electrical} initiation methodology (…) was doubtless chosen on this case as standard cartridges are a lot tougher to amass in Japan than in lots of different areas,” he added.

There have been a number of instances in recent times of individuals arrested in Japan for illegally making firearms.

In 2018, the police arrested a 23-year-old man within the western metropolis of Himeji for making a gun and greater than 130 bullets at dwelling. Additionally that 12 months, police detained a 19-year-old college pupil in Nagoya metropolis for manufacturing explosives in addition to a gun with the assistance of a 3D printer.

In 2014, the police arrested a 27-year-old man for illegally possessing handguns made by a 3D printer in Kawasaki, south of Tokyo.

The problem of illicit weapons making will not be confined to Japan. For instance, officers in Spain discovered a duplicate assault rifle and small arms in a raid of an unlawful manufacturing unit found to be producing 3D-printing weapons in April 2021.

The suspect in Abe’s capturing instructed investigators he had manufactured weapons with three, 5 and 6 metallic pipes along with the one he used within the assault, the media mentioned.

Arms specialist Jenzen-Jones mentioned the weapon used within the incident was on the decrease finish of the potential spectrum.

“Nonetheless, it was clearly deadly,” he added.


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