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Police confiscate vintage gun, internet travels back in time

The Baltimore police revels in an amusing internet caper involving a strange old pistol, a repeat offender and whole lot of Abraham Lincoln references.

This gun doesn't actually date back to the Civil War.
Baltimore Police Department

Last week, the Baltimore Police Department arrested a man with a loaded handgun during a traffic stop. That's not the most unusual thing to happen in Baltimore, but what's weird about this incident is the gun.

The police department posted a photo of the unusual firearm on Facebook and Twitter and sparked a whimsical round of time-traveling speculation.

The gun is a vintage single-shot pistol with the grip missing and the handle covered in electrical tape. It looks like it could have been excavated from an archaeological dig. Social media users are having a field day with comments referencing the American Civil War, the assassination of US president Abraham Lincoln in 1865 and old-timey speech patterns.

The pistol appears to be a German-made Reck .22 caliber Derringer, which could well mean it was manufactured 100 years after Lincoln's assassination. It definitely would not have been on the battlefield during the Civil War, but let's not allow that to ruin the fun:

Facebook user Josh Stavrakoglou wrote up an excellent police blotter summary: "If it pleases the Peasants, brave Constables wish to inform us they have apprehended a young rapscallion armed with a pepperbox whilst operating his horseless carriage."

Another Facebook user, Wayne Kwame Kearney, made the very logical suggestion that a man carrying such a weapon must be a time traveler.

The Baltimore police joined in on Facebook with this comment on Sunday: "If it pleases the court, we will ensure we safeguard this firearm and ensure the safety of all in the village of Lord Baltimore. Whilst this young lad possessed this weapon illegally, his punishment shall not include that of public stoning nor shaming. He therefore shall be recommended as a candidate for reenactment just up the road in Gettysburg."

Keith Gladden, the man found in possession of the gun, is a repeat offender who is not allowed to possess a firearm.

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