“Electromagnetic gun” sounds like a powerful and deadly weapon, but please make sure you are talking about a real thing and not a toy.
This is the message being handed to the police by observers following claims that authorities have seized a weapon from a hideout of an activist of a so-called localist group.
Police have claimed that they found an electromagnetic gun and some chemicals after a raid Sunday on a flat where Ray Wong, convenor of the Hong Kong Indigenous group, was said to have taken refuge.
The raid came as part of a crackdown on people suspected to have been involved in the Mong Kok clashes earlier this month.
The Stand News reported Monday that the electromagnetic gun found in a Wong hideout has been confirmed to be nothing but a toy that one can purchase online for just 22 yuan (US$3.37).
Wong is said to have taken refuge in a flat belonging to a friend in Tin Shui Wai.
According to the product description on Taobao online shopping site, one can make the “gun” at home by assembling the parts. The instrument can be used to shoot down small objects within a range of 1.5 to 2 meters.
Apple Daily quoted Lo Kok-keung, a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, as saying that a toy electromagnetic gun functions just like an air gun and that its energy is limited to two joules.
It could be used as a harmful weapon with a shooting range of tens of meters only if it is modified intentionally, Lo said.
After seeing the electromagnetic gun listed as evidence by police, a weapons expert said the object seized from Wong hideout doesn’t appear to be lethal.
Mocking the police, Chan Chi-wang, a lecturer at the science faculty of the University of Hong Kong, noted in a Facebook post that some ordinary items used in households can sound like high-tech weapons if one plays up some features and ingredients, Metro Daily reported.
Turpentine is flammable, fertilizer contains ammonium nitrate, and silicon dioxide can be found in dehumidifier packs, Chan noted.
Citing other examples, he said a DVD player could be described as a “micrometer laser decoder”, and a vacuum cleaner as “astatic ion-attachment equipment”.
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