In today’s L.A. Times they ran this inflammatory photo with a story about the D.C vs Heller case being argued before the United States Supreme Court. The photograph is a fake! The “illegal handgun” is no more than a toy.
The picture was credited to Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press. The caption is as follows: “A 14-year old who asked not to be named had this illegal handgun on him in southeast Washington on Tuesday, March 11, 2008. Under a 31-year-old law in the nation's capital, ownership of handguns is barred for nearly everyone except law enforcement. The ban is up for review in the Supreme Court.”
The picture is of a German made RTS tear gas delivery device that uses a small amount of gunpowder to deliver CN powder to an attacker. The gun and several like it were manufactured in the early 1960’s in Germany. These guns were no longer made or sold when aerosol spray cans were found to be far superior tear gas delivery system to these tear gas pistols.
The RTS was never considered a firearm by ATF It was freely imported, unrestricted and sold by mail and available in American novelty shops. Needless to say nobody made or sold the ammunition for this obsolete gun in several decades.
The RTS was far less capable of converting to fire ammunition then a ball point pen.
The whole L.A. Times Story can be found here.