SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Boston police are urging Massachusetts lawmakers to make fake guns easier to tell from the real thing.
Boston State Representative Dan Cullinane has filed a bill that requires replica gun manufacturers to include a non-removable one-inch orange strip that runs along the barrel, handle, and front of the gun. The idea is to show it’s a fake weapon from every angle. Cullinane told 22News 12 states have already mandated this orange strip.
“It makes it easy to distinguish whether it’s a real gun or a fake gun. I think it’s common sense,” one man told 22News.
It could prevent a tragedy. 12 year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland was killed after an officer responded to a report that someone was pointing a gun at people at a local park. Rice was holding a replica gun.
Replica guns are commonly used in robberies, and other street crimes. Under current federal law, all replica guns sold and manufactured in the country must have an orange tip.
Some people say having a law like this wouldn’t make a difference because it doesn’t stop anyone from taking a fake gun, and using some creativity to make it look more realistic.
“It’s not going to do anything,” said Dave Chappelaine of Chicopee. “They’re just going to paint them to look like they’re a play gun. Or people are going to take real guns and paint them to look like fake guns. It’s ridiculous.”
“It really doesn’t matter what the tip looks like or what lines you have on it because it can be replicated backwards or frontwards. A fake gun can look like a real gun, and a real gun can look like a fake one,” said Keith Blake of Springfield.
Late last year, the Boston city council imposed a ban on replica guns in public spaces, and gave police authority to confiscate them. Boston police took 174 replica guns off the streets last year.
A public hearing for the bill has not been scheduled yet.