Police arrest four teens in Connecticut zip gun case
Police arrest four teens in Connecticut zip gun case

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Police arrest four teens in Connecticut zip gun case

Police arrest four teens in Connecticut zip gun case

Police in Connecticut have arrested three juveniles in connection to a pair of New Haven robberies involving a "zip gun," several news outlets reported recently. Police also arrested a fourth juvenile who is accused of manufacturing the weapon.

New Haven police reportedly arrested the three robbery suspects after witnesses at both scenes gave similar descriptions of the alleged assailants, suggesting the same individuals may have been involved in both incidents. One of the three juveniles was in possession of a zip gun at the time of arrest, the New Haven Independent reported.

Interviews with the three initial suspects reportedly led police to the fourth juvenile, who was allegedly running a small-scale gun manufacturing operation out of his home. According to a police press release, officers executed a search warrant of the home and discovered another fully assembled zip gun, as well as a partially assembled firearm and other zip gun components. The juvenile suspect reportedly told police he had manufactured and sold up to twelve of the weapons.

Zip guns in Connecticut

Zip guns are homemade firearms made from everyday materials like piping, wooden blocks and even duct tape. The improvised weapons are typically designed to fire low-power cartridges, often using firing pins made from nails and rubber bands.

After a brief heyday in the 1950s, zip guns were largely unseen for several decades, according to a New York Times report. Recently, the improvised firearms have begun to reappear in robberies and other criminal offenses in Connecticut - particularly those committed by juveniles. Because zip guns are relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain, these homemade weapons may appeal to juveniles and others who would have difficulty obtaining conventional firearms through legal means.

Unfortunately, due in part to their crude design and manufacturing, which can make them unpredictable and unreliable, zip guns can pose a serious safety threat to those who use them. According to David Hartman, a police spokesman in New Haven, Connecticut, the makeshift weapons could potentially explode or misfire, posing a deadly risk to anyone in possession of a zip gun.

Protecting juvenile defendants in Connecticut

Connecticut law provides that children under the age of 14 cannot be charged as adults in criminal court, regardless of the offense, while anyone age 18 and older must be tried as an adult - even if he or she is still in school. Between the ages of 14 and 17, however, young people accused of criminal activity in Connecticut may be adjudicated in either the juvenile or the adult system. This decision depends on a number of factors, including the severity of the crime and the prior record of the juvenile involved.

When a young person is prosecuted as an adult in Connecticut, the consequences of conviction can be far more severe than those that are likely to apply in the juvenile system. Therefore, it is critical to obtain competent legal representation for any young person who is facing criminal charges.

Depending on the circumstances of the case, a skilled juvenile defense attorney may be able to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or the negative consequences to the juvenile's future minimized. In the event that the case goes to trial, an experienced juvenile defense lawyer is essential to protect the young person's interests in particular to prevent any negative consequences to the juvenile's future employment or education plans.