Toy Gun Control

Chinese authorities recently raided a Shanghai Wal-Mart for
selling illegal arms: 46 toy guns deemed ‘too real’ by the local
bureau of quality and technical supervision, according to a
Reuters report. The toy guns were in
violation of Chinese regulations that stipulate that half of a
fake firearm must be a bright color. ‘The toy guns sold in
Wal-Mart are too real, and such toys can be harmful to children
by easily inducing them to violence,’ an unnamed official told
state media.

Fake guns seem to be causing trouble on a global scale. The
Evening Standard reports that a few
weeks ago two London teenagers were met by armed police
officers, a K-9 unit, and helicopters when their fake gun was
mistaken for the real thing while the two were on their way home
from a ‘Cowboys and Indians’ party.

In the United States, it’s not uncommon to hear of such
scenarios turning violent, with police officers shooting kids after
mistaking toy guns for the real thing. Parents, police, and local
officials across the country are seeking ways to avoid such
tragedies and also to tamp down on the use of the fake guns in real
criminal activity. According to the
Dallas Morning News, in May the Dallas
city council unanimously passed laws banning people from
brandishing toy guns in public places. (The law is not as stiff
as some would have liked, as it excuses BB, paintball, and
pellet guns, among others.)
Home News Tribune reports that
Freehold Township in central New Jersey has taken its ban a step
further, passing an ordinance in April that banned the sale of
realistic toy guns to minors.

And in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, police chief Sam Gatchell is
taking an even stronger stance on the issue. According to the
Lancaster New Era, Gatchell has called for
an end to the production of all realistic toy guns because of their
growing use in robberies. ‘You can’t give me one good reason why
they have to look so real,’ Gatchell said on the heels of a
three-and-a-half hour standoff in which the captor’s gun turned out
to be a spray-painted fake.

Go there >>
Wal-Mart Realistic Guns Trigger Raid

Go there, too
>>
Armed Police Swoop on Fancy Dress Cowgirls with
Toy Guns

And there >>
Dallas Council Finalizes Laws Against Toy
Guns

And there >>
Realistic Fake Guns Called Safety Risk

Related Links:

Related Link from the Utne Reader Archive:

Comments? Story tips?
Write a letter to the editor

Like this? Want more?Subscribe to
Utne Reader

UTNE
UTNE
In-depth coverage of eye-opening issues that affect your life.