Police are concerned that more guns are being painted in fluorescent colors that make them look like toys, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. At the same time, growing numbers of toy guns that fire pellets are being produced to look just like lethal weapons. “You can’t tell the real from the fake anymore,” Camden County Prosecutor Joshua Ottenberg said. “It’s literally a miracle that some kid here hasn’t been shot dead yet.” Last Thursday night, a distraught man carrying a fake gun closed down the Walt Whitman Bridge for nearly four hours. Troopers seized the man’s “very realistic” weapon after he surrendered. “It looked like a SIG Sauer, just like the ones we carry,” said Sgt. Stephen Jones, a New Jersey State Police spokesman.
A new FBI bulletin warns police about a new process that can produce or tint weapons in garish colors. Under the headline “Not a toy gun,” the bulletin featured a dozen photos of guns with candy-colored finishes. Often, the colors are used to appeal to women and young sport shooters. Legislators in Nassau County, N.Y., introduced legislation last week to ban the colorization kits. Law enforcement officials also are not laughing. “Introducing weapons painted to resemble children’s toys creates a hazard for everyone,” said Jones. “You no longer can assume that a wildly painted gun is a toy.”