A ray gun was a type of directed energy weapon commonly used in science fiction references.

In 1986, Commander Pavel Chekov was being interrogated by an FBI agent while on board the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, after collecting photons from the ship's nuclear reactor to re-crystallize dilithium on the HMS Bounty. While the FBI agent was distracted, Chekov picked up his Klingon disruptor and warned the agent he would stun him. The agent told Chekov to calm down and give him the "ray gun". (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

When Loomis saw T'Pol's phase-pistol, during her and Jonathan Archer's visit to Detroit in October 2004, he told her that she had a "nice ray gun", and didn't believe it was "for real" until she shot a hole in his car door. Later, when he was arrested by the Detroit Police, he warned them that they had to find the lizard people, but to be careful because "they've got ray guns." (ENT: "Carpenter Street")

When Jean-Luc Picard remarked that Lily Sloane had set a phaser to kill, Lily remarked that it was her first ray gun. (Star Trek: First Contact)

When Tom Paris was briefing Kathryn Janeway on the technology of The Adventures of Captain Proton, he told her to remember that it was "ray gun, not phaser; [and] imagizer, not viewscreen". (VOY: "Bride of Chaotica!")

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