Latest weapon, a key fob that fires bullets
Aug 8 2005
By JAMES GLOVER Crime Reporter, Liverpool Echo
IT LOOKS like just another key fob, the kind motorists carry with them every day. But this harmless exterior conceals a deadly weapon- a tiny gun capable of firing two bullets. Believed to have been built in Bulgaria where they are sold legally as flare pistols, the pocket-sized firearms have been converted by criminals to fire live ammunition. Police have seized more than a dozen adapted key fobs at sites all over the country, with the vast majority recovered in Manchester. None of the items have ever been discovered on Merseyside - until now. Police believe they are used by criminals because, although they fire inaccurately, they can be smuggled-into venues like clubs and be missed by security checks. So far there has been at least one fatal shooting involving the weapons, a 19-year-old man who blasted himself in the head while trying to show friends that the safety lock on the gun worked. Anyone caught in possession of a converted key fob faces at least five years in prison. This is the same sentence as someone caught with a conventional firearm.