(WCMH/WWLP) — Dozens of fake guns are confiscated off the streets each year throughout the country. Now, police are warning those using these fake weapons.
Columbus Police Officer David Wilson said police are trained to use deadly force when they see a weapon being misused. He said these fake guns have become so realistic looking, officers will always prepare like there’s a threat unless the person makes it obvious there’s no danger.
“We have shootings all the time in malls, churches, movie theaters,” Officer Wilson said. “So when someone is walking around waiving a gun, someone is going to call the police.”
Officer Wilson wants you to immediately drop the gun, whether it’s real or fake, to show police there’s no threat. He’s even seen gang members painting orange tips on real guns to give the illusion that it’s fake. It’s a situation that can quickly turn deadly for the person caring the weapon and the officer.
Ashfield Police Department posted a similar photo on their Facebook Page. 22News took that photo to the streets, to see if everyday residents could tell the difference.
Jeremy Reipold of Greenfield said, “It’s a really hard thing to deal with. It’s so hard to tell because they can alter it so easily, and it’s a tough thing.” (So you can’t tell the difference.) “I can’t. No, I can’t.”
Under federal law, all replica guns sold and manufactured in the country must have an orange tip.