Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Should realistic toy guns be outlawed?

ALBANY, Ore. - Police locked down a community college campus after reports of a man in camoflage carrying a gun last week.

The man turned out to be a boy playing "Army" with his cousin, carrying a toy gun painted black to look for real.

This isn't the first time toy guns have been confused for the real thing in Western Oregn.

Five Bethel School District buildings locked down in 2007 after a Eugene teenager was seen waving a pellet gun near an elementary school.

And in 2003, a Salem police officer shot and killed a man who pointed an airsoft gun at an officer.

Critics of realistic toy guns say they look too real.

In Oregon, the City of Beaverton banned airsoft guns in 2009.

A California lawmaker proposed a bill requiring toy and pellet guns look like toys.

The law would have banned having toy guns painted black and required that all pretend guns be white, or bright red, orange, yellow green, pink or purple.

The bill never got out of committee.

In the Albany case, the father of the one of the boys said he painted the toy gun black - and now said that probably wasn't a good idea.

"My son likes it to look make it real, so it was painted black," said Peter Hargett. "That was a step too far."

Police did not cite the boys, ages 8 and 11, but did tell them not to play with realistic gun in public.

1 comment:

  1. My sons are only allowed to play with their Airsoft Guns when I am around to supervise it.