They’re often referred to as toy guns even though they’re not.
BB or pellet guns are sold at numerous local sporting good stores and shoot projectiles which can injure if not used safely.
These replica guns also come without all the restrictions of purchasing a licenced gun and at a lot less cost.
With the holidays, some of those guns are bound to end up under the tree as gifts.
The potential danger to a child because of a very realistic looking toy gun was on display in November when police shot and killed a 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio.
An officer shot the child when he appeared to reach for his “airsoft”-type replica gun resemblinga real semi-automatic Colt pistol.
The guns shoot BB’s and various metal and plastic pellets using springs or compressed air.
Mike Manning of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said, “There is no way a law enforcement officer can visually inspect a toy gun and make that determination within seconds as to whether if that gun is real or a toy.”
Some come with orange tabs, but many others do not.
News Channel 3 showed a realistic-looking BB gun to a number of people to gauge their reactions, and to see if they could tell what they were looking at was real or a replica.
Our Daisy Power Line 415 looks like a Glock, cost 29 dollars and uses compressed gas to shoot up to 21 BB’s.
Nobody we stopped could tell the difference without a closer second look, something cops don’t get without life or death consequences.
“That’s not something you want to have laying on the front seat or taking to school or anything,” said Sam Szymanski of Rancho Mirage.
“I don’t know if it’s real or if it’s a toy, ” said Kathy Gardiner of Rancho Mirage.
“That would fool any policeman if it was pulled out in front of them I’m sure,” said Szymanski.
Police often make split second decisions in high pressure situations.
Manning says many of these toy guns will be given as holiday gifts.
He says orange tabs can be altered, removed or added to deceive.
“If a parent is not there to actively supervise their child then the gun should definitely be out of the hands of the child,” said Manning.
Jennifer Foster of Somis said, “You know I just don’t think this is the day and age for this. There’s just so much to protect our cops and protect the kids.”
Ultimately, Manning said children should meet age requirements for the various models, and adult supervision is the key to keeping kids and others safe.