Two recent tragic accidents involving confusion about fake guns brings new legislation to the forefront. Two Californialawmakers plan to crack down on the classificationand color-coding of toy guns.
On Oct. 22, 13 year old Andy Lopez of Santa Rosa was killed by a sheriff'sdeputy who mistook the teen's fake brown AK-47 for a real one.
State senators Noreen Evans, D-Santa Rosa, and Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, are introducing the Imitation Firearm Safety Act. The measure aimsat preventing heat of the moment confusion over fake guns by reclassifying BB gunsand requiring manufacturers to paint them a bright color.
"In my generation, for example, every little kid played with a Mattel cap gun that looked like a real gun and you didn't have the adverse outcome," said former Sacramento County sheriff John McGinness. "But times have changed and society has changed. I think when you restrict somebody's liberty and freedom even a child involved in innocent play, you can understand there is going to be certain resistance. But I don't want to see families lose loved ones. I don't want to see law enforcement officers put in positions like this in the future. So if reasonable steps to eliminate that potential or at least reduce it can be implemented through good law," I believe it makes sense. "
Critics of the idea say regulating look-a-like guns do little to protect the public and bad guys may just paint their guns in a rainbow of hues to fool cops.
McGinness saysthat argument may have merit butcolor-coding guns is a step in the right direction.