LAPD wants toy guns 'brightly' colored

June 7, 2011 at 12:30 PM
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LOS ANGELES, June 7 (UPI) -- Los Angeles' top cop says he wants toy BB-gun replicas of actual firearms to be brightly colored so that police officers don't mistake them for real weapons.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck is proposing the city require the change for the toy guns, which are sold in various models that closely resemble real weapons such as Berettas, shotguns and pistols, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

The proposal comes after two shootings involving officers and people with replica weapons, including a teenager who was wounded, the newspaper said.

Under the proposal, toy guns sold in Los Angeles would have the "entire exterior surface of the device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple."

"This change will not ban such devices but will aid law enforcement in differentiating real firearms from BB devices and imitation firearms," Beck said in a memo to the Los Angeles Police Commission, which is considering the proposal.

Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith said shooting incidents involving replica guns are alarming.

"If you see something that just looks like a gun, you're going to shoot," Smith said after one of the shootings. "That's what you're trained to do. Your mind doesn't have enough time to process whether it's a real gun or a fake gun."

Smith's office said Monday the councilman supports Beck's proposal.

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