Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck wants the city to require BB-gun replicas of actual firearms to be brightly colored so that police officers don’t mistake them for real weapons, reports the Los Angeles Times. The proposal, which the Police Commission considers today, comes after two shootings involving officers and people with replica weapons, including one in which a teenager was wounded. Under the new rule, all such toys sold in Los Angeles would have the “entire exterior surface of the device white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink or bright purple.”
The guns come in various models that closely resemble real weapons such as Berettas, shotguns, and pistols. Law enforcement experts say the toys can easily be mistaken for the real thing, especially in a situation in which an officer must react quickly and decisively. On Dec. 16, three boys were playing with the guns when two Los Angeles police officers stopped to investigate. An officer fired at one of the boys, believing the boy’s gun was a real weapon. The boy was shot in the torso and underwent surgery.