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French police seize guns disguised as mobile phones

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Rouen police have seized two 'mobile phone' guns in a drugs-related raid in Elbeuf, Seine-Maritime, reports Agence-France Presse. The devices, which can fire four .22 bullets in the approximate direction of a victim, appear to be the ones of mysterious Eastern European origin which turn up every now and again.

These are just about passable these days as not very attractive or state of the art handsets, as used by poor people (one really would expect drug dealers to have more of a sense of style). Except they're heavier, thanks to the four barrels and bullets. Except they've got a strange cocking lever on the bottom (er, would you believe it's a clockwork phone, M le gendarme?) Except it's got four holes in the top, doesn't light up or work (as a phone, that is), and possibly has an odd whiff about it, if it's been used recently.

The good folks at ABC news have an old schematic of it here, while there's a video of it in action here. Aside from the style question, which The Register feels confident will protect us from the London locals until you can get an Uzi in a P800, one puzzles over the utility of such devices in Elbeuf, Seine-Maritime. According to the local tourist office the area is heavily forested, so French hunting-shooting culture and legislation being what it is, locals could as well have proper guns that hit things.

You can find out how difficult that is in France here. ®

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