'Loner' College Student Jailed for Making 3D Printed Guns with Designs He Found on the Internet

A university student in the U.K. has been jailed after successfully creating handguns using a 3D printer, in the country's first prosecution of its kind.

Tendai Muswere, 26, was jailed for three years on Thursday following a court case in central London. The media student, described by his lawyer as a "loner," claimed that he built the weapons to serve as props in a sci-fi film he was making, the BBC reported.

Police discovered the firearms during a drugs raid at Muswere's home in October 2017. Officers also found cannabis during the search.

The student did not have a firearms licence, but told police that the guns were for use in a university film project. He was also found in possession of ammunition, which Muswere claimed he found in a park.

Police searched Muswere's home on two separate occasions, the court heard. During the second raid, the student threw an incomplete and melted 3D printed cylinder for a Reprringer pepper-box firearm out of his kitchen window as officers arrived at his home.

Officers discovered two 3D printers in Muswere's home. The machines were in the process of printing a revolver barrel and several other components for use in 3D printed Washbear and Reprringer firearms.

Analysts said the weapons were not functional, but that Muswere only needed steel tubing to allow him to fire the weapons. Claire Holder, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said that while the recovered weapons could not fire, "he was using 3D designs found on the internet which were specifically for the making of live firearms."

Holder added that this lead police to believe "that he was trying to perfect a workable firearm." Earlier this year, Muswere pleaded guilty on two counts of manufacturing a prohibited firearm and two counts of possessing a prohibited firearm.

Muswere's lawyer John Kearney described the 26 year old as "something of a loner," according to The Evening Standard. Kearney said his client struggled with anxiety issues, suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was a regular smoker of cannabis, but had no history of association with criminals.

Judge Jeffrey Pegden dismissed Muswere's defense, arguing there was no evidence that the guns were part of his film work. "You had not written your script and had no purpose for the props," Pegden said.

"On the second occasion police came to your house you were clearly aware of the illegality of your actions as you threw parts of a firearm out the kitchen window as police were making their way inside," he continued.

3d prnted, gun, weapons, firearm, jailed
This file photo taken on July 11, 2013 shows a Liberator 3D printed pistol, forged with a 3D printer and computer-aided design files downloaded from the internet. Robert MacPherson/AFP/Getty Images/Getty