Man Turns Water Gun Into Shotgun In Southeast Fresno, Police Say
Among the 100 or so guns confiscated in southeast Fresno over the last three months, Sergeant Mark Hudson says one in particular certainly stands out.
"It's dangerous for those officers being out on the street to see something like this obviously," Hudson said.
Fresno Police say 54-year-old Randy Smith was walking in the area of Barton and Nevada on Saturday night.
He had a "Super Soaker" water gun hanging around his neck from a sling.
Normally, officers might not think much of it.
But police say they were just briefed about people turning toys into shotguns.
So they stopped Smith, and sure enough, instead of water inside his gun, he had a real shotgun shell.
"He took the Super Soaker apart, was able to fashion a barrel to where he was able to make what's considered a zip gun, where you can fire one round through it. In this case it was a 20 gauge shotgun shell," Hudson said.
"The guy that made that gun, he probably got maybe $30 worth of parts," Bill Mayfield, who works at Gilmay Guns in Fresno, said.
Mayfield says it doesn't take a gunsmith to make something like this.
But it's definitely not a smart move.
"The firearms cartridge with the gun powder is an explosive. The device they're building has to be able to contain the pressure of that explosion," Mayfield said. "So they're just relying on, maybe this will hold up. Well, you could be putting a gun next to your head, or you could be putting a hand grenade next to your head."
Smith faces a laundry list of charges, including being a convicted felon in possession of ammunition, a felon in possession of a firearm, manufacture of an illegal weapon and a misdemeanor warrant.
The cops on the streets face their own new challenges.
"Something different every day; and certainly this person was up to no good. He was out there with what would seem to the uneducated person to be a child's toy, where as these officers are now confronted with a shotgun," Hudson said.
Fresno Police tell KMPH News, Randy Smith has been in and out of prison since 1994.
He was released from the Fresno County jail one day after being arrested.