— File Photo
The most popular weapons being sold by weapon dealers are the 9mm pistols followed by the 30 caliber weapons, more popularly known as the TT pistols. “New bores such as the 40 caliber and the 10 caliber are also there but people don’t know much about them as yet. Their bullets also cost up to Rs200 to Rs500 each,” says Mohammad Usman, a weapons dealer.
“The 30 caliber guns were the most popular among people before 2000 but the 9mm era began after that. The reason for this is that before that year, 9mm was strictly a military weapon. But being considered a non-prohibited bore (NPB) weapon now, the 9mm has really caused a dent in the market for the TT pistol,” explains the dealer.
Still, criminals and terrorists use the TT pistol. According to AIGP Forensics Division Sindh, SSP Mohammad Ashfaq Alam Pathan, “Both the 30 caliber and the 9mm pistols are easily concealable and so the obvious choice of criminals.”
Another expert in the police department points out that the 9mm is also a weapon of choice for those who are not clean shots. “Being a fat bullet, the 9mm often finds its target. There is a lesser chance of missing with it. As for the 30 caliber weapon, well if you take its measurement, it comes around to 7.63mm, making it a very thin bullet made for precision shooting. Still, it carries more velocity than the 9mm and is a bullet that is longer in length,” he points out. “Since the hind part has more gun power, it has more speed,” he says.
“When you read in the paper or hear on the news that someone died on the spot, he had probably been shot by a 9mm bullet. It is that deadly and harmful. But when you read or hear that someone who was shot, died later in hospital, they were probably shot by a TT pistol,” he continues explaining the difference.
Meanwhile, it is said that criminals also use the TT pistol more because before the 9mm came in the market the weapons factories in Darra Adam Khel had already produced millions of TT pistols, which are still around and being sold illegally or are rented out in the underworld. So it is easier for the criminals to lay their hands on them.
The next big seller in the market is the gun that doesn’t need a license — the air gun. “The air gun is a good target practice weapon and usually bought for teenage boys by their fathers for target practice. A Pakistani air gun can easily be bought for Rs2,000 to Rs3,000 while those made in China are around Rs4,000 to Rs5,000,” says Asghar Ali, owner of Mohammadi Enterprise, near the Lucky Star intersection.
“There are very expensive air guns, too. The German-made Diana brand costs Rs30,000 to Rs35,000. The Gamo air gun, that’s made in Spain, can cost from Rs16,000 to Rs50,000 and the Turkish Kran is between Rs20,000 to Rs25,000,” he adds.
These air guns come in different pellet sizes for instance 0.22mm, 0.25mm, 1mm, 1.77mm, etc. And all have the potential to kill at point blank range. Thus these pellets can also be taken as the seeds planted into young minds that grow into the need for acquiring bigger and more deadly weapons as kids who are presented with BB pistols or air guns grow up into adults.