The Huffington Post Andy Campbell First Posted: 05/23/12 08:31 AM ET Updated: 05/23/12 01:15 PM ET
This is hardly child's play: Randy Smith, 54, was reportedly found walking the streets of Fresno, Calif., Saturday night, carrying a Super Soaker that he had converted into a 20-gauge shotgun, according to KMPH.
Normally cops wouldn't raise an eyebrow at someone waltzing around town with one of a high-powered plastic water guns, but an uptick in toy-to-gun conversions made officers more suspicious of Smith.
They stopped him and found that he had indeed fashioned a powerful weapon out of $30 worth of parts.
"He took the Super Soaker apart, was able to fashion a barrel to where he was able to make what's considered a zip gun, where you can fire one round through it. In this case it was a 20-gauge shotgun shell," Fresno Police Sgt. Mark Hudson told the station.
But as NBC pointed out, the conversion isn't just illegal, it's dangerous for the manufacturer. Makeshift barrels can explode under pressure, sending shrapnel and gunpowder flying.
"So they're just relying on, maybe this [gun barrel] will hold up. Well, you could be putting a gun next to your head, or you could be putting a hand grenade next to your head," Hudson said.
Smith was arrested Saturday night and released Sunday on gun-related charges. He's been in and out of prison since 1994, police said.