“HIGH-powered [I say, I say, HIGH-powered] homemade shotguns being traded on the black market for just a few hundred dollars are the new weapons of choice for drug dealers in Melbourne,” heralds.com.au reports. “Police are raising the alarm over the new wave of backyard weapons, which can fire real 12-gauge shotgun cartridges and are easy to conceal.” Wait. People can MAKE shotguns? Since when? Since ever? Well, um, how does that square with Australian gun control laws? They’re illegal, obviously. But if bad guys can MAKE shotguns there’s no real point in banning them for law-abiding citizens, is there? Let’s take a closer look . . .
Since February more than 20 of the shotguns have been seized in the western suburbs during a series of related operations.
Some were double-barrelled, and one had a light welded to it to illuminate a target. Most have been found in cars, in drug raids on homes, and even being carried by people on the streets.
The guns have the same firepower as conventional shotguns.
Superintendent Stuart Bateson said the guns were a concern although none had yet been discharged in the act of a crime.
“These weapons are volatile and unpredictable,” he said.
“They are very dangerous.”
They posed the biggest hazard to those who used them, typically low-end type criminals.
“They are very much likely to blow up in someone’s face,” Supt Bateson said.
“They are not tested, they are not safe.
“The safety of individuals handling these firearms is the most important thing.”
And there I was thinking the greatest danger of these homemade shotguns was bad guys using the guns to commit crimes and, you know, shoot people. Of course, we must, as always, think of the children!
[Police] are warning that children could stumble across the weapons, which look like a piece of steel pipe, putting them in grave danger.
Perhaps the Melbourne police should mount an advertising campaign educating “low-end type criminals, drug dealers and those on the edge” on the importance of safe handling and proper storage of pipe shotguns. If nothing else, recoil. Oh, and it seems that the bad guys aren’t the only ones keeping and bearing these homemade weapons.
[Owners] range from people who have no criminal convictions to others who have long criminal records.
And they generally claim to have been carrying the weapons for self-defence.
“They say it’s so they don’t get rolled. They say: ‘Other people have got them’,” Sen-Det O’Mahoney said.
Roll your own in case you get rolled? Who’d a thunk it? Ralph?