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Print The Crime, Do The Time

Student Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail for 3D Printing Gun

Picture of Hanna Watkin
by Hanna Watkin
Sep 21, 2019
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The judge didn't buy the student's claim the parts were for a university project and that he found the ammunition rounds in a park.

A 26-year-old student from London has been sentenced to three years in jail for manufacturing a gun using a 3D printer.

Tendai Muswere is the first person in the UK to be convicted of such a crime. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of manufacturing prohibited firearms and two counts of possession.

Muswere’s lawyer described him as a “loner” with anxiety issues but argues he is not violent. He explains Muswere suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and regularly smoked cannabis, which police found at his home.

The 3D printed gun was found at Muswere’s home by police officers during a drugs raid in October 2017. He claimed the parts were for a university project and that he found the ammunition rounds in a park. But, judge Jeffrey Pegden QC, told him, “You had not written your script and had no purpose for the props.”

During a second raid, Muswere threw 3D printed firearm components out of his window.

Tendai Muswere
Tendai Muswere’s 3D printed gun will now be destroyed. (Source: BBC)

3D Printed Gun Results in 3 Years in Jail

Claire Holder from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “Muswere claimed that the firearms found in his flat were made for a university film project and were incapable of firing deadly shots. However, he was using 3D designs found on the internet which were specifically for the making of live firearms.”

It is illegal to manufacture or possess weapons without a license in the UK.

“This was the first prosecution of its kind in the UK and we hope it serves as a warning to anyone who is considering possessing and manufacturing firearms,” said Holder.

Muswere claimed he didn’t realize the guns were capable of firing. But, his internet search history showed he was looking for steel tubing to make the firearms usable.

The judge said Muswere’s motive is “unclear” but did not believe the weapons would only be used as props.

“Evidence also showed that he had made repeated attempts to print the weapons, which we believe showed that he was trying to perfect a workable firearm,” said Holder.

The firearms and all components will be destroyed.

Source: BBC

Feature image source: Mashable

License: The text of "Student Sentenced to 3 Years in Jail for 3D Printing Gun" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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