Real Guns Built To Look Like Toys Are Putting Kids, Police Officers At Risk

LIVERMORE (KPIX 5) — Guns with bright colors and cute characters. It’s prompting one Bay Area police department to sound the alarm about firearms deliberately made to look like toys, putting children and police officers at risk.

Despite all the attempts to make toys look like toys, nothing’s being done to make real guns look real. And we’ve seen the tragic results when police confuse a toy for real weapon.

In 2013, a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez after mistaking a toy gun the boy was carrying for an AK-47. Last year in Cleveland, a 12-year-old boy went to a neighborhood playground with friends carrying a fake gun and waved it around. Tamir Rice was shot by police who mistakenly believed it was a real gun.

Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation to stop this confusion by requiring toy guns to look like toys.

“(It’s) absolutely unbelievable,” Livermore police education officer Traci Rebiejo. “When you start searching through the internet and start looking at these websites that sell guns that look like something my daughter would be playing with right now.”

You can go to a number of websites and find all sorts of colorful, customized real guns that any one would easily assume are toys.

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