Guns That Look Like Cell Phones-Truth!  

 

 

 

  Summary of eRumor
This story says that European officials are finding .22 caliber guns that are manufactured to look like cellular telephones.  It warns travelers to be careful, for example, around airport authorities because they are having to contend with judging whether cell phones carried by air passengers may be lethal.
 
 

The Truth
There have been many media accounts of these cell-guns including a report by Lucrezia Cuen on ABCNews.com on December 6, 2000.  Most of the information in this particular eRumor comes from that report.

The cell-gun can fire four .22 caliber rounds.  

(Photo: U.S. Customs Service)
A real example of the story as it has been circulated:

NDU SECURITY AWARENESS - TRAVELLERS NOTICE   

Below forwarded for your information and awareness when travelling abroad.   

Check out this video clip.   

The video clip confirms this is a real threat. The point about overseas  law enforcement officials' sensitivity to cell phones should be a warning  to  you and make the point that such officials, especially customs officials  don't play jokes. So obey their instructions courteously and promptly  

Here is something you should be aware of in your travels.  These new covert guns were first discovered in October when Dutch police  stumbled on a cache during a drug raid in Amsterdam. In another recent  incident, a Croatian gun dealer was caught attempting to smuggle a  shipment  through Slovenia into Western Europe. Police say both shipments are  believed  to have originated in Yugoslavia. Interpol sent out a warning to law  enforcement agencies around the world. European border police and customs  officers are at a heightened state of alert at all ports, airports and  border crossings. 

 "Beneath the digital face lies a .22-caliber pistol a phone gun capable of  firing four rounds in quick succession with a touch of the otherwise  standard keypad. European law enforcement officials stunned by the  discovery of these deadly decoys say phone guns are changing the rules of  engagement in Europe. It means police will have to draw their weapons  whenever a person being checked reaches for their mobile phone. Although  cell phone guns have not hit America yet, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol,  Tobacco and Firearms, and the U.S. Customs Service say they've been  briefed  on the new weapons.  Realistic Appearance. "If you didn't know they were guns, you wouldn't  suspect anything," said Ari Zandbergen, spokesman for the Amsterdam  police.  "Only when you have one in your hand do you realize that they are  heavier,"  says Birgit Heib of the German Federal Criminal Investigation Agency.  "The  guns are loaded by twisting the phone in half. The .22-caliber rounds fit  into the top of the phone under the screen. The lower half, under the  keyboard, holds the firing pins. The bullets fire through the antenna by  pressing numbers on the keypad. Amsterdam police says they are very  sophisticated machines constructed inside gutted cell phones which do not  light up or operate as real phones. These are very difficult to make. We  believe experts are involved. "  The video clip shows the cell phone actually firing. Again, these phones  have not hit the US, but they are in use in overseas. Keep that in mind  if  you are going through customs and are asked to turn over your cell phone  to  be checked. Never joke with Customs Officials.