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Old September 17, 2017, 06:54 PM   #1
Kwik2010
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Tear Gas Pencil?

Not sure if this would be considered a handgun but it's fired one handed and would be pretty difficult to shoulder so I'm gonna try my luck posting it here.

I've searched a few times around the internet and asked around but no one I know seems to be able to give me any information on the subject. I have a tear gas launching pencil I'd like to learn a little more about. I found it in the bedside drawer of a passed loved one quite a few years ago when I was a kid. It sat in the bottom of my gun safe for years until the other day I came across it while digging for some other documents I keep in the bottom as well.

There are no markings on the pen and the only markings on the box are the original instructions inside the box lid. It is in a simple red box with a few empty blank "practice shells" and a few loaded ones and one loaded shell with a red end which I assume is the tear gas cartridge. It is chambered in .32 S&W.

I don't know anything about this and was hoping maybe someone would have a little info on it and possibly where to find and/or how to make replacement cartridges for it. If that's even possible.

Last edited by Kwik2010; September 18, 2017 at 08:26 AM.
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Old September 18, 2017, 12:27 AM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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If the pen gun will chamber a metallic cartridge, it is considered a weapon regulated by the National Firearms Act.
If said weapon is not registered with BATF, and appropriate tax paid, it is contraband and possession is a federal felony.
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Old September 18, 2017, 12:47 AM   #3
HiBC
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Not directly to your question,Colt made a tear gas pen of similar design.It used a shotgun primer to propel tear gas powder from a proprietary cartridge.There was no provision for shooting ammunition.
From an unfortunate experience in a public rest room stall I can assure you these pens are not drop safe.

Another very similar device was issued to some of our military as a flare pen.
The flares had gyrojet rocket technology and supposedly might be useful shooting up through jungle canopy.

These days,we have pepper spray and the Kimber 2-shooter.
I'd heed Bill DeShivs .Posessing that device is not worth a felony.How are they going to find you?You did just post it to the world.
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Old September 18, 2017, 03:45 AM   #4
Old Stony
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Why would this be considered any different than something like a blank firing device? It is not capable of firing a projectile....
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Old September 18, 2017, 04:40 AM   #5
Hal
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They used to sell those mail order in the back of magazines when I was a kid.
The gun control act of 1968 did away with them - and the .22 cal tear gas revolvers.

I don't believe that one will chamber a .32 caliber round of any type.

Here's one that was apparently sold back in 2005 and there's no mention of any tax stamp.
https://www.gunauction.com/buy/5965270
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Old September 18, 2017, 07:18 AM   #6
Kwik2010
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No it won't chamber an actual round. The screw on cap presses directly against the end of these cartridges and in inset way too much to allow an actual bullet to protrude out of the end. Does that still make it illegal? I'll turn it in to the sheriff straight away. I wasn't aware that would be considered a metalic cartridge.

You are right about it not being worth a felony. I'm just gonna call the sheriff and see what the story is after work. I'll see if they'll take it and have it destroyed or whatever needs to be done. Thank you all.

Would there be a legal way to just completely destroy it myself? Might just take the sledgehammer to it and make sure it is completely smashed flat and incapable of ever being used for anything ever again.
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Old September 18, 2017, 08:48 AM   #7
Skans
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I have that exact same tear-gas pencil. It is perfectly legal! In fact, I have several of these gas-pens that were made from about 1930-1960's. People collect them; I wouldn't throw it away or destroy it.

While your pencil is not in very good condition, I have never seen the box with tear-gas cartridges! That alone would be worth something. Again, you do not need to destroy it. Yes, it would be very easy to make a barrel capable of firing a bullet to fit on the end of the pencil. That would be illegal without proper registration. Just because its easy to make convert something doesn't make the object illegal as it is, and it is completely legal.
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Old September 18, 2017, 09:09 AM   #8
GarandTd
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Could this item possibly be classified as a curio/relic?
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Old September 18, 2017, 09:27 AM   #9
Kwik2010
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Well I called dispatch and they are sending an officer over. I guess I'll ask him. I work in government job and have served in the military. I can't risk ruining my career and life over it. I'll just turn it in amd if it is completely legal then they can give it back to me. I can't justify any risk associated with it.
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Old September 18, 2017, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Yes, it would be very easy to make a barrel capable of firing a bullet to fit on the end of the pencil. That would be illegal without proper registration
But - if you stuck a rifled barrel on it, and it was for your own personal use, wouldn't that be ok?

I believe I read here someplace that you could build a gun - provided it didn't cross the lines of AOW or full auto, without any problems from the BATF.
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Old September 18, 2017, 10:23 AM   #11
dogtown tom
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Quote:
GarandTd Could this item possibly be classified as a curio/relic?
Possibly, but that doesn't have any effect on it being an AOW and under the NFA. (if it actually is an AOW)

There are numerous versions of pen guns that are NOT NFA.
Here's one that's not NFA:http://www.gunbroker.com/item/692543629






Quote:
Hal
Quote:
Quote:
Yes, it would be very easy to make a barrel capable of firing a bullet to fit on the end of the pencil. That would be illegal without proper registration
But - if you stuck a rifled barrel on it, and it was for your own personal use, wouldn't that be ok?
"Personal use" is not an exemption to any Federal firearms law.




Quote:
I believe I read here someplace that you could build a gun - provided it didn't cross the lines of AOW or full auto, without any problems from the BATF.
A "pen gun" is specifically listed as an AOW.
https://www.atf.gov/file/55346/download
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Old September 18, 2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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Well I called dispatch and they are sending an officer over. I guess I'll ask him. I work in government job and have served in the military. I can't risk ruining my career and life over it. I'll just turn it in amd if it is completely legal then they can give it back to me. I can't justify any risk associated with it.

Interesting...So you called the sheriff for legal advice on Federal law. I'll bet the officer has no idea and will have to make a judgement call based on some other weapons related state code. Which I would guess will be a soft encouragement to voluntarily turn it over, but who knows in MT. There gun laws are much more forgiving IME.

An attorney for federal court with nfa experience could likely help.
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Old September 18, 2017, 10:44 AM   #13
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Moving to the NFA forum ...
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Old September 18, 2017, 10:58 AM   #14
Kwik2010
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Well I didn't necessarily call for advice. I called to have them come pick it up. The officer told me he hated to take it away from me because he wasn't sure it was illegal but I asked him to take it and have it destroyed as they would any other. Thank you all for your time and energy and I apologize to the historians and collectors out there if I just had a piece of history destroyed. There isn't anything worth ruining my life as I live it now so what's done is done. If I had a way to ask an attorney about it and not having any risk of being punished for having the item I would have. But the fact remains that had I not turned it over and kept it in the mean time before I was able to get some true legal advice, it would still be in my possession and I'd be risking being put in prison over something that I didn't truly understand.
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Old September 19, 2017, 07:19 AM   #15
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The flare pistol was and is completely legal. There were many versions of this same thing made. Penguin, Colt, I believe S&W - they are all perfectly legal. None have rifled barrels, none are made to chamber any known cartridges, the ends are made of aluminum and not appropriate for firing any ammunition. On occasion, when I find one of these cheap, I will buy it. I have 3 versions and all are 100% legal. Hopefully you kept the box and tear gas cartridges - those are probably more collectible than the pencil, given its condition.

Here's an "Al Capone" tear gas pen on gunbroker: http://www.gunbroker.com/item/698035900

Here's another kind: http://www.gunbroker.com/item/695176573

One made by Colt: http://www.gunbroker.com/item/696373674

Here is a youtube video showing a genuine AOW pen gun. If not registered with BATFE, it would be illegal to have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_JtG-qbyxg
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