Two factory workers in the far eastern Amur region have been sentenced for fashioning and selling firearms similar in form and size to pens.
A 37-year-old former army officer and his 36-year-old accomplice handcrafted the miniature guns and sold them, initially, to acquaintances in their village of Vozzhayevka, Far East Federal District police said in a statement Tuesday.
The pair then sought customers farther afield, traveling to the neighboring Khabarovsk region to find interested buyers. Far East district police, hearing of the scheme, sought them out and made undercover purchases of the firearms.
The guns, though small, were powerful enough to inflict mortal wounds, police said.
"After they were detained, both men admitted their guilt and actively assisted the security services in the criminal investigation. They not only told of how they made the pens, but even showed [us] a place in the woods where they fired them," police colonel Vladimir Kovalchukin said a statement.
"The flight distance of the bullet from the handcrafted gun was about 10 meters, and the force was such that the payload broke through a thick tree!" he said.
The two men were sentenced to four years in prison for their crimes.