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"A kind of metal wand that Muggles use to kill each other"
Wizarding description of a gun from the Daily Prophet[src]

A gun, also known as a firearm, is a type of metallic weapon commonly crafted and used by Muggles. Used by a variety of organisations including military and police agencies, and individuals in applications such as hunting and self-defense, guns operate by firing projectiles using explosive force. They can come in a variety of configurations, including but not limited to: pistols, rifles, shotguns and cannons.

Like most Muggle technology, wizards are generally oblivious to guns. Wizarding newspaper the Daily Prophet equated guns to a "kind of metal wand." Kingsley Shacklebolt once misread the term "firearm" as "fireleg."[1]

History

In the 18th Century, soon after Dorcus Twelvetrees revealed the secret adresses of Ilvermorny and the MACUSA Headquarters to a scourer descendant; Bartholomew Barebone and a band of gun wielding friends plotted to kill all wizards and witches living in the area. Bartholomew planted himself outside of a building and opened fire when a group of people he assumed to be MACUSA employees exited. However, the people were in fact No-Majs unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. None of them were killed. Bartholomew was arrested by No-Maj authorities and imprisoned for his crime.

In 1876, Rancorous Carpe attempted to trap Peeves and have him removed from Hogwarts Castle via an elaborate trap, of which include a blunderbuss and a miniature cannon.[2]

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In 1926, No-Maj officers of the New York Police Department, were armed with pump-action shotguns, revolvers, and sub-machine guns.[3]

At some point in or prior to 1991, Dudley Dursley swapped a pet parrot for a real, live air rifle.[4]

In 1991, Vernon Dursley bought a rifle to protect his family during their stay at the Hut-on-the-Rock, but when the half-giant Rubeus Hagrid visited them on the island unexpectedly, he easily destroyed the rifle by bending it into a knot.[4]

When Sirius Black pulled out his wand in an attempt to kill Peter Pettigrew for his treason, the Muggle witnesses thought he brought out a gun.[1] Later, after his escape from Azkaban, Muggle news reports stated that he was carrying a gun.[1] Arthur Weasley also had a report on firearms, assigned to him by the Auror Office during the hunt for Black, that was a month overdue; Kingsley Shacklebolt apparently misread the word as "fireleg".[5]

Behind the scenes

  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Vernon comes downstairs with a double-barreled shotgun, rather than a rifle. Hagrid bends the barrels of the shotgun upwards, causing Vernon to discharge it into the ceiling.
  • Despite modern wizard-kind not being familiar with firearms, back in the past they did, with Rancorous even making use of a blunderbuss.[2]
  • The British Firearms Act strongly regulates the ownership and use of firearms. Citizens with appropriate certification may own a rifle, provided that it meet specifications; notably that it only loads a single round at a time. Shotguns with less than a 3 round capacity (eg: double barrel) are also generally legal to own, with a certificate, and are subject to less rigorous regulation.
  • However, gun ownership explicitly for personal protection has been banned since 1938, and use of a firearm in a self defence situation is generally illegal.[6]

Appearances

Notes and references

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