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Spud missile offender found not guilty due to age

TT/Charlotte West · 23 Dec 2009, 09:51

Published: 23 Dec 2009 09:51 GMT+01:00

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Finding inspiration in instructional videos on YouTube, the young man from Halland constructed an illegal potato gun using his mother's hairspray as a propellant.

He built the weapon using metal parts from a junkyard and used tape to hold the gun together. It was so powerful it could propel a golf ball 50 metres.

After he tested the homemade cannon at a cemetery, the boy was brought to trial on a weapons charge but was not convicted due to the fact that he is a minor.

“Had I known that the potato gun was considered a weapon under the law, I never would have made it or used it,” the boy said during his trial earlier this autumn, according to Hallands Nyheter newspaper.

Story continues below…

Varberg district court ruled that he had been careless in his disregard of the laws governing potato guns, but due to his age the crime is not punishable and the court elected to dismiss the charges, the newspaper reports.

TT/Charlotte West (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

11:04 December 23, 2009 by Marc the Texan
We made these in eighth grade science class. I made tennis ball cannons too. Weapons charges??? He only had charges dismissed because of age. Yes, he got off, but the ridiculous law still stands. Why does Swedish law flit from one absurdity to another? On an almost daily basis!
11:28 December 23, 2009 by Run Malmö
What the f--k is the matter with this place? We made potato guns in school.

Gun laws? Sweden needs to check their own crime stats. Rated number 8 in world crime.

Be the way...the U.S. is 13th. F--k I can't wait to get out of here so I can feel the cool of my .38!

Go ahead...flush me with email! commpilot1971@yahoo.com
12:08 December 23, 2009 by Rick Methven
Be the way...the U.S. is 13th. F--k I can't wait to get out of here so I can feel the cool of my .38!

OK get out of here we do NOT need Ars*holes like you here
12:15 December 23, 2009 by xenyasai
"Go ahead...flush me with email! commpilot1971@yahoo.com"

No thanks, I have better things to do with my life.

Merry Christmas, btw.
15:07 December 23, 2009 by mkvgtired
As long as the kid didn't damage anything leave him alone. I would tell him to stay out of the cemetery because it is private property and to be careful. Problem solved.
16:49 December 23, 2009 by calebian22
Thanks Local for publishing this story. I had no idea this was illegal in Sweden. Too bad though, spud launchers are awesome!
16:59 December 23, 2009 by Beynch
When I as a kid we used to attach a stick of dynamite to the leg of a chicken, and then set it off. Cruel? Defnitely! Illegal? Maybe not then, but probably is now. But this is what an immature, irresponsible, child would do. Halland authorities should focus on real crime. Going after this teenager is like shooting fish in barrel. Surely there must be more serious infractions to spend tax payer funds on?
17:20 December 23, 2009 by rumcajs
attach a stick of dynamite to the leg of a chicken, and then set it off.?????? I was a child too and by the way I spent all my childhood in Colombia, where even human life is cheap and never did anything like that. You are sick!!!
18:54 December 23, 2009 by Beynch
I agree with you rumcajs. With my values today, our actions were horrendous. But as a 13-14 year old (living in two countries), my reference points were different. This is what immature kids do (or may do) under the "right" pressures. Hence I do not think that the above described potato gun story is all that gross. By the way rumcajs, I have gone on record as suggesting that the voting age should be brought back to 21!
19:23 December 23, 2009 by krigeren
@Beynch Are you the inventor of chicken nuggets?

Hey..that is probably illegal here in Sweden but if you fjucked a chicken it would not be against the law here.

Odd country where its ok to blow a chicken but not ok to blow one up ;=)

Potato Gun is a weapons offense.....it only propelled a golf ball 50 meters...what human can't propel a golf ball twice that distance? 500 meters then I would have been impressed.....it's obvious these laws are causing Sweden to lose the race in potato gun technology...considering potatoes grow in abundance here you are really missing out on alternative -cost effective -weapons for your armed forces.
20:42 December 23, 2009 by locaxy
This country is scaring me by the day.
22:17 December 23, 2009 by lingonberrie
Anyone who has ever tortured or abused an animal is sick.
04:28 December 24, 2009 by volvoman9
Not that I'm condoning animal abuse of any type but this begs the question.... Do you eat meat? Certainly the farming of chickens and their subsequent slaughter is far more heinous than the rather rapid dispatch of one with a stick of dynamite. This would be a senseless exercise perpetrated by a truly sick individual but if you truly value life in every form don't condone the consumption of animals for any purpose. Only then may you speak without blood on your hands.
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