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Friday, 14 March 2008

The Judge could be the next big, bad thing in Toronto's gangland arsenal.

A shotgun-shell firing revolver called The Judge could be the next big, bad thing in Toronto's gangland arsenal. Canadian cops say they know about the gun but they haven't seen it on the streets yet. "Any firearm in the city of Toronto is a bad firearm," Staff-Insp. Brian Raybould said yesterday. "But anything big and new that would appeal to those individuals in Toronto who want to show their big guns, is something police would be concerned about and vigilant watching out for." The city's homicide unit commander said he's heard of it in police briefings about firearms. Manufactured by Taurus, the revolver holds five .45-calibre Colt slugs or .410 shotgun shells and retails for just over $500 in the U.S. All the models are available with either 16-cm or seven-cm barrels.

Taurus has introduced a handgun that may just be the ideal trail gun/home defense weapon/car gun – its very versatile for short distance targets. This new Taurus is chambered for the .45 colt cartridge and .410 shotgun rounds. It can also fire very flare pistol rounds, in case you prefer to “light up” your target. A number four shot load followed by four hollow points might be just about ideal for social work. There is a huge market among city dwellers who are not firearms enthusiasts yet want a self-defense handgun for the apartment or to keep in the car. The Judge should fare well in this market as it is reasonably priced, simple and safe to use, and provides the quick option of shot loads or potent projectiles.
"Taurus Judge is the must-have, long-term answer for short-range problems," touts a company press release. "Appropriately called the 'Taurus Judge' because of the number of judges who carry the new Taurus model .45/.410 into the courtroom, this powerful revolver is the final word in close quarters combat." A video on the company's web site shows a man firing the gun from the driver's seat of an SUV at a target in his passenger window, blasting two wide holes in the cardboard. The Judge's rifling spreads the shot pattern at close quarters or guides a .45-calibre bullet to the target. Taurus stresses the revolver is for personal defence or pest control. But John Thomson, president of Mackenzie Institute, a Toronto-based security think-thank, said the weapon is the new "prestige gun" that every Toronto thug wants to carry on the streets. And given the love of many punks for the biggest, baddest and potentially deadliest handguns for show and for use, the shiny new multi-shot cannon poses a special threat. Because The Judge is a revolver, U.S. law enforcement sources said it's not something they would typically see in violent crime recoveries. Revolvers haven't been the gun of choice for drug dealers and gangs in the past, they said. Canadian police weren't keen on drawing attention to the weapon. The gun and gang task force said they have seen videos for the gun online but haven't seen one on the streets of Toronto.
When asked if they were concerned about a concealable shotgun shell-shooting revolver being on the market, the task force said they are "concerned about any gun," stressing any bad guy with a weapon is a problem.
Det.-Sgt. Dave Godfrey, of the Gun and Gang Task Force, said .410-gauge "is the smallest shotgun gauge."
If someone got The Judge into Canada, it would be "a restricted weapon, just like any other handgun," Godfrey said. "But whether it would be a restricted weapon or a prohibited weapon depends on the barrel length.
"I haven't seen any here," he said. "It's too new.
"We certainly don't like to see them with this type of fire power, that's for sure," said Det. Steve Horwood of the Provincial Weapons Enforcement Unit.
Horwood said he hadn't come across The Judge yet either. The closest thing the unit has seen would be a hand-held double-barrel weapon police seized a few years ago.
"This was almost like a mini-double barrelled shotgun ... with a top break."
Most criminals aren't choosy when it comes to guns -- using the ones that are available, police said.
"If they get to pick, my guess would be that they would be picking semi-automatic type pistols," Horwood said. "But we still get revolvers, we still get sawed-off shotguns, we still get sawed-off rifles."



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