Police killed at least 245 people carrying toy guns


On the night of Saturday, October 16, police in Tarpon Springs, Florida received a call about a man pointing an AK-type rifle at passing cars. Officers confronted the suspect at an intersection and fired 12 shots, killing him. The victim quickly turned out to be a boy, a grade 11 student at the local high school. And the rifle he was carrying was actually a toy airsoft gun.

The boy’s death follows a long series of incidents in which police shot and killed people carrying toy guns. According to The Washington postpolice shooting database, at least 245 people have been killed by police while in possession of a toy gun since 2015.

Victims of shootings involving similar guns include Tamir Rice, 12, 17 Hannah williams, and 13 years old Andy lopez.

So far this year, there have been at least 26 of these deaths.

On April 5, 16-year-old Iremamber Skyap was shot and killed by Honolulu police after he and his brother were found in a stolen car with an airsoft gun. One of the officers who witnessed the shooting told defense attorneys that he could not tell the difference between the toy and a real weapon, adding that the toy gun had been recovered.looks like a real gun to me.

Sixteen years Peyton ham was shot dead by a Maryland state soldier eight days later. The soldier, responding to a call from a “suspicious person”, spotted Ham armed with a handgun and knife before opening fire. The weapon was later found to be a replica, modeled after a Sig Sauer pistol.

As The Trace reported, toy guns are regularly designed to mirror their real-life counterparts, often in great detail. Gun makers sometimes license their designs and brand names to toy makers to create fake guns that are almost indistinguishable from the real ones. Our reports have identified more than two dozen gun companies, including Foal, Beretta, and Glock – which allow airsoft companies to use their marks and likeness to make toy guns.

The results were devastating, leading to hundreds of shootings by law enforcement officers unable to differentiate between aftershocks and reality.

“Every week my cops face interactions that could be much worse than they should be due to the presence of these devices,” Chief Will Johnson of the Arlington Texas Police Department told us in 2019. “Even being close [in likeness] is a problem, let alone if it is an absolute shared schema. “

Airsoft guns are widely available for sale in most of the United States. In a few cases, some retailers and advertisers have moved away from this practice. In 2014, Google Adwords, an advertising platform for the company, stopped promotions for airsoft guns and accessories. In 2018, Walmart ended the sale of airsoft guns and toys that looked like their real counterparts.

US federal law requires that airsoft guns be imported or transported with a bright orange tip so that customs officials and transport agents can distinguish replicas from real guns. However, it is legal for an owner to remove the orange safety marks. Subsequently, a number of states and local municipalities intervened with their own regulations.

A month after Trace’s first report on toy guns, three Democratic senators sent a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission asking the agency to adopt stricter rules regarding the appearance of these guns similar. However, no new federal laws or regulations have been adopted.

About Ricardo Schulte

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