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Mole Guns in Turkey in 2003-2005

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2007 Pages: 114-118
Riza Yilmaz M.D.; Ismail Birincioglu M.D.; Ismail Cakir Ph.D.; H. Bulent Uner Ph.D.; Dinc Acikgoz M.D.; Cetin Seckin M.D.
Date Published
January 2007
5 pages
This study examined the features and uses of mole guns (guns designed to kill moles and other similar animal pests that damage vegetables and fruits) in Turkey, based on an analysis of cases sent to the Council of Forensic Medicine of Turkey between 2003 and 2005.
The annual number of mole guns sent for examination ranged from two in 2005 to six in 2003. All of these mole guns consisted of just one main part. All guns had only one barrel. The size of the guns, measured as maximum length, varied from 20 to 40.5 cm. Ten (91 percent) were 12 gauge, and 1 (9 percent) was 16 gauge. The mole gun's action is based on a simple hammer mechanism. In order to reach food, a mole puts its head through a metal ring, which is pushed backwards to trigger the hammer mechanism. The hammer strikes the primer, which ignites the gunpowder, propelling the pellets from the barrel. Although mole guns are designed to kill moles and other animals that threaten vegetables and fruit, people who migrate from rural to urban areas have used mole guns to protect their property from theft. In a larceny case, a mole gun was used as a trap against burglars. Also, while being deployed as intended by farmers, accidents with the guns have caused deaths and serious injuries. In one case, a mole gun was used to commit suicide. Although not designed to be used as firearms, qualified firearms experts have categorized them as illegal firearms under Turkish law. 2 figures and 7 references