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zhuk 12-27-2009 10:07 AM

Watch out for those toy guns...
Or we might shoot! Say UK police...

'Real' danger of toy guns - police


Police have said children who play with toy guns run the risk of being confronted by armed marksmen.

Essex Police said parents should not buy youngsters plastic guns for Christmas in case passers-by thought that the toys were real weapons.

Senior officers say most children, parents and teachers are unaware of the risks generated by toy guns.

"Replica weapons look so much like the real thing that they ... can terrorise individuals and communities," said Supt Simon Williams.

"The majority of children, teachers and parents are simply not aware of the issues and consequences of carrying around such items - they don't realise the impact these so-called 'toys' have on our communities and on us."

Police said they had been called to nearly 900 "firearms incidents" during 2009 - and many involved replica guns.

"When we respond to such incidents we cannot always identify whether a gun is real or fake," a spokesman added.

"Carrying an imitation gun could ultimately result in a highly-trained armed officer having to challenge a teenager - and so, naturally, we are worried.

"We have been deployed to nearly 900 firearms incidents so far this year, with a significant number involving replica or BB guns. This has to stop now."

'Real' danger of toy guns - police - *MSN News - MSN UK

Great comment at the end of the article:


"The British public is obviously unaware of secret government papers that show there has been a significant upsurge in the number of 5 / 8 year olds committing firearms offences.

Only last week I was robbed at gunpoint by two 5 year olds whilst at the supermarket cashpoint. Having handed over my cash I stood and watched as they raced off in their 3 wheeler buggy fitted with maclaren racing gear.

Whilst I commend the police for their bravery in giving chase I can only wonder how their high powered pursuit vehicles were no match for the 3 wheel buggy across the supermarket car park.
I now refuse to visit the local supermarket until child safety gates are fitted to prevent these criminals from preying on poor unsuspecting adults."

I guess if you don't laugh, you cry, huh? :rolleyes:

[Actually, this is precisely the reason airsoft is banned in Australia - due to the 'military' of course their automatic action. Strange that airsoft is -currently- legal in the UK tho]

ItsmeShane 12-27-2009 10:41 AM

this is what happens with people like Rebecca Peters in the world.

cpttango30 12-27-2009 01:19 PM


Now kids can't PLAY. What is next. Are the brits going to drug the kids and feed them with feeding tubes till they are adults and and not ever allow them to be kids.

That is the biggest problem with the world today. We keep these kids on lock down for 22 hours a day then make them sleep for 4 hours then they get to do it all over again. Kids need to PLAY and boys need to play HARD.

hillbilly68 12-27-2009 02:58 PM

I know Ill catch caca for what Im about to say...although I detest what the brits have become and the anti-gun agenda, I think we have made a wrong turn with the overly realistic replicas of firearms. I let my son (4 years old) play with toy guns, big orange and yellow nerf guns, we run around shooting all over the house with them. He and his friends play army all the time, cops and robbers (he always wants to be the good guy policeman...yayyy ;)) and generally beat the snot out of each other being boys.
I believe that you need to gun proof your kids, not kid proof your guns (with common sense applied). My son knows if he finds a real gun to not touch it, go get an adult etc etc. The problem is he demonstrated he doesnt know the difference in some cases because they are dead nuts replicas of the real thing. I almost pooped a kitten last night when we were over at a friends house that has older boys. He came up from downstairs carrying a "glock". He said "its OK Dad, its just a toy". It was indeed a toy. Sure, I had the responsibility to check all the toys in the house, shake the two older boys down, give little guy a safety brief before we went over there....ok you guys know I am being sarcastic. Orange nerf gun - he knows it is a toy. Blue water pistol - he knows it is a toy. How does a parent keep him from getting mixed signals? Again, I am as anti-anti as you can get. I want my son imbued with the gun culture (he already is) but I cant stand for a second the thought he might pick up a loaded gun thinking it is a toy. Yes, I know it is my responsibility not the toy maker's, so I will have to find a way.

bigbad-ratman 12-27-2009 03:58 PM

i admit it might be a little different, but if i am standing watch with a sidearms and someone pulls a weapon that looks real to me, someone is about to have a bad day.
having said that, i agree that replica's, look-a-likes, whatever ever are pretty over the top now. most citizens couldnt tell the difference at a distance so they do the responsible thing and call the police. i cant fault them for that. nor can i fault the police as long they act in a responsible, professional matter. i personally knew a former police officer who had a replica drawn on him in a public place, and reacted as he was trained to. sadly the child trying to pull a prank paid with his life. the incident made national news about 20 years ago, and the officer resigned from the force. the only answer is to tone down our toys.

IGETEVEN 12-27-2009 05:19 PM

IMO, toy guns should look like damn toys! Over emphasized, brightly colored, cartoonish, looking toy guns and rifles, so there is no doubt of misidentifying.

They are toys, and children should be taught and exposed to the difference between the two of toys and real firearms, with proper firearms instruction, their use, dangers and safety, by either experienced family member's involvement and/or professional instruction.

A decision reached when the the child's responsible maturity age is recognized, and that could vary with each child, and when the parents decision to start their child's firearms exposure and involvement, whether it be hunting, target or pleasure shooting.

Again, just my opinion.


ItsmeShane 12-27-2009 05:37 PM

If they are taught the difference correctly then they should be just fine. me being a boy I had many many toy guns of all shapes and sizes, and at 5 years old I also had a 22 that my dad helped me shoot. I knew the difference between a toy and a real gun. It was made quite clear at an early age to me how I should act with a toy vs the 22.

Glasshartt 12-27-2009 05:49 PM

1 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by IGETEVEN (Post 204836)
IMO, toy guns should look like damn toys! Over emphasized, brightly colored, cartoonish, looking toy guns and rifles, so there is no doubt of misidentifying.

They are toys, and children should be taught and exposed to the difference between the two of toys and real firearms, with proper firearms instruction, their use, dangers and safety, by either experienced family member's involvement and/or professional instruction.


I highly agree, As part of my duties, I was teaching the NRA Eddie Eagle Classes, (for those who aren't familar with it, the main idea is "STOP, DON'T TOUCH, LEVE THE AREA, TELL AN ADULT.") It is a ery good program and I think all elementary schools should have the program. I taught it to pre-K through 3rd grade. The NRA has very strict guidelines about how Eddie the Eagle can be used, (Yes, I even got us an Eddie Suit) it cannot be anywhere there are guns. The kids loved the programs, even the ones who were going through it for the 3rd time. I basically taught that even if you think it is a toy, you must treat it like a real gun unless you are told otherwise by an adult. One of my teaching tools is a series of pictures of real weapons and "toys" and I ask the kids, to tell me which ones are "real" and which ones are "toys," very few have been able to get all of them right. We have 3 Air-soft weapons, a S&W semi-auto, a Steyr GB, and a Steyr Aug. The S&W doesn't even have the red/orange tip. When you place my Steyr GB beside the Airsoft GB it looks exactly alike (except for the orange/red tip). The Aug is super realistic also. I'll see if I can get Scubie to take pics of the GB's together to show the similarities. If any one wants copies of the pictures I use in the class, let me know.

I also had one incident, years ago, before they started requiring the red/orange tip, I almost took down an mentally/emotionally handicapped kid who had a "gun" in his waistband. It was a green 1911 look-alike water pistol, but in the half-light of dusk, it looked real. Luckily he wasn't agressive and I had dealt with him before. I was close enought to him that, when I saw the butt of the "weapon" it was faster to make him "eat" the hood of my unit than back out and draw. Needless to say, I had lots of paperwork to do and I took the "gun" away from him. I full light, you could tell that it was a "toy" but in the situation that I encountered it, I sure looked real. You never know.

Jeehs 12-27-2009 10:33 PM

I don't see why we make a toy gun look like a real 9mm.... Becuase to me if you have a toy gun that looks real and you pull it out in public and point it at someone, then you might as well be pretending you have a real gun. Meaning that you wish you could shoot someone/thing.

I know people who used to use toy guns and Play cows boy and indians or Cops and robbers (I myself used to...) But we always did it in the woods on our cousins land, we knew there could be hell to pay if we pulled it on someone in public.... Really I'm question what posses a child to want to pull a peice of shaped plastic on someone..?

zhuk 12-27-2009 11:13 PM

I agree with the comments that there should be at least some kind of measure of differentiation in toy guns (ie coloured tips etc) however with airsoft, the point IS to look realistic I guess...

Probably what concerns sections of the British public is the police have prior form on shooting first, and this is what springs to the Jean Charles de Menezes case illustrates. As understandable reaction as this might have been, only one day "after a failed bombing attempt on the Underground and on a bus, and two weeks after the 7 July 2005 London bombings, in which 56 people died", this guy was eventually identified as an innocent Brazillian, and not the "Somali, Eritrean, or Ethiopian" suicide bomber suspect they were looking for. The ID was made on the stated basis that they were satisfied that they had the correct man, noting that he "had Mongolian eyes".

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