KENT, Wash. - They're called Airsoft guns, and they feel and handle, just like the real thing.
They are perfect tools for training marines and recruits, not so perfect for minors playing cowboys and Indians on someone's roof.
"Any minor that has one or anybody that has one and police man sees it, they're gonna treat it as if its a real firearm," said Mark Deeds, who runs Northwest Tactical, a Kent company that sells a variety of soft air pistols. They're also in the business of training law enforcement officials in realistic urban warfare. In Washington, it's illegal to sell the fake guns to anyone under 16. Unfortunately, Deeds says, minors have found a way to get a hold of the fake hardware.
"Minors are getting them on the Internet, or their parents aren't aware of what they're getting their children and they're getting ahold of them and they're playing games in their back yard or in the neighborhood and it's scaring other people," he said.
Deeds is opening up his business every Tuesday this summer to teens under 18, and their parents. By providing a controlled space, he believes they can curb the potential dangers.
The sessions run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
"If parents are gonna buy these guns for them we want them playing somewhere controlled and sanctioned as opposed to a back yard or school block," said Deeds.