Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2000/11/30/guns_disguised_as_mobile_phones/

Guns disguised as mobile phones

Swiss police seize shipment

By Kieren McCarthy

Posted in Business, 30th November 2000 14:00 GMT

Swiss police have intercepted a cache of arms that include guns disguised as mobile phones. The phones don't actually work but contain barrels for four .22 bullets and a winding mechanism made to look like an aerial.

By cranking the aerial, four high-tension springs are pulled back into the base of the phone and then each one can be released separately by pressing buttons five through eight. The spring then strikes the base of the bullet, held in the top half of the phone, and fires it out the top of the phone.

The guns are thought to be built in the Balkans where there is a market for such things and gangsters have been importing them into the West. According to the Daily Mail, these mobile phone guns have become so popular in Germany that one nightclub owner has insisted guests leave mobiles at the door. They're hard to distinguish apparently, apart from the fact that they're much heavier.

It doesn't seem to have occurred to them to simply ask people to call someone on their phone or to look for four holes in the top, but there you go.

The gun, unsurprisingly, is only good for close range firing but is lethal, said police. Not that disguised guns are anything new and not that we'll ever be faced with one, but there's a little seed of paranoia for you.

Wonder how long it'll be until there's a kids version. We were just bemoaning the disappearance of spud guns last night - maybe this will be the modern version. ®