Madison County Sheriff Robert Hertz Bans Cell Phones in Courthouse Just in Case They're Guns

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Italian police officer with a cell phone gun seized in Naples.
  • Italian police officer with a cell phone gun seized in Naples.
You can no longer bring cell phones into the Edwardsville, Illinois Courthouse because Sheriff Robert Hertz has read reports of fake phones that are actually four-shot, .22 caliber pistols.

A quick check of the official arbiter of sketchy information, Snopes.com, confirms that yes, such covert pistols have been confiscated by police -- but only in Europe at this point. Italian police discovered one in a raid on a Mafia stronghold in a Neopolitan suburb, and other instances of similar weapons being found in other European cities have also been reported but are unconfirmed.

But then there's this video that shows one in action, and you kinda suspect these things are for real.



You don't actually see live bullets put into that gun and spent shells come out, nor do you see evidence that the gun actually fired any rounds -- just a bang and puffs of smoke, which could be blanks -- but the gun in the video looks remarkably similar to the one in the Italian police photos, and Snopes says they're real, so the evidence is strong if not convincing.

But improvised firearms are nothing new. Zip guns, shotguns built out of junk, even single-shot weapons made from over-sized bolts have all been confiscated by police the world over. As crazy as it sounds, cell phone guns might -- emphasis on might -- make it to the States sooner rather than later.

And Edwardsville, Illinois is prepared in that eventuality.

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