KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 — The ballpoint pen gun, similar to the one that killed a man in Bintulu after it accidentally went off on Sunday, has been around for over 20 years — perhaps inspired by James Bond’s 1983 movie Never Say Never.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, describing it as “not new”, said the ballpoint pen gun found on the man was believed to have been smuggled into Sarawak.
But he did not discount the possibility the modified gun was assembled locally.
The case has been classified as sudden death.
“It is not a new weapon. It is a modified device and we have heard of such pens before,” he said.
Khalid said police had, in the past, alerted border patrol to keep a lookout on such weapons brought into the country illegally.
“All personnel manning the borders and entry points of the country are well aware of this weapon and other modified firearms,” he said.
“Such a ballpoint pen gun is easily traceable when it goes through the scanning machines at ports, borders and airports.”
Khalid said Sarawak’s vast water and land borders enabled unscrupulous individuals to smuggle such items into the state.
He said police were investigating why the man was carrying the weapon.
Khalid had, during a press conference yesterday, take out his ballpoint pen and joked it was unable to fire any bullet, an attempt to pacify fears that such a firearm was easily available.
The man, believed to be a van driver in his 40s, collapsed in front of a market at 8.30am.
According to witnesses, he had parked his van and was walking around in the area, apparently waiting to pick up passengers, when they suddenly heard a small explosion just before the man collapsed and died. He had burn wounds on his chest.
Many had initially thought the slim item, resembling an electronic cigarette, had exploded.
Police later realised the item was a gun.
They also found a small plastic box containing tiny bullets in the man’s pocket.
The weapon was handed over to Bukit Aman as ballistics and chemistry experts help in the probe.