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A 'Bright' Idea? LAPD Gets Serious About Fake Guns

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Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr
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A new rule proposed for Los Angeles would require that all toy replica weapons be made in certain colors so as to distinguish them from real weapons, according to the L.A. Times. The proposal was made by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck and is being considered today by the Los Angeles Police Commission.

Because there have been recent shooting incidents involving people with phony guns and the LAPD, Beck is pushing to find a way to ensure his officers do not mistake those fake play guns for the real deal. The proposal is to require that all toy guns that are replica weapons be "white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple," over the entire surface.

Not only have recent officer-involved shootings caused the LAPD alarm, but also local leaders have expressed concern about the availability of the faux weapons and how easily an officer might be confused. Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith was made aware of a constituent whose 12-year-old daughter was able to purchase toy replica guns from, of all places, a neighborhood ice cream truck.

In fact, up until 2005 it was not uncommon for ice cream trucks to sell the toy guns, though in that year, the City Council passed an ordinance that banned their sale from the trucks. According to the Times, some trucks defy the ordinance and continue to carry the guns.

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Councilman Smith echoed Beck's concerns and says his office supports the proposal.