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“Its sponsors stress that they are dedicated packers and do not want to be mistaken for advocates of any limits on Second Amendment rights. They say that fake guns look so real these days that there is a great danger that some cop will shoot a student prankster by mistake. Thus, the bill prescribes up to six months in jail on first offense for possession of an imitation firearm on [a Louisiana] campus, at a school event or in a school bus. On second offense, the six months is mandatory.” – James Gill in What does the NRA think of toy guns? [via]

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    • Really? On a toy gun that looks like exactly like the real thing and is pointed at you by a “child” who looks like he can play college ball?

      • If it is so realistic, and his demeanor so treatening, why *shouldn’t* he be shot or incarcerated? Do we need a law that specifically makes it illegal to strap road flares around your torso and pretend to be a mad bomber, or is the issue quite well covered by the obvious consequences of doing so around an armed officer?

        I hear you can’t swing your fist within an inch of officer, too. By the same token, if a cop mindlessly shoots anyone holding something gun shaped without ascertaining their demeanor or the situation, he deserves to rot in jail as well since he’ll eventually shoot a coworker.

        • “if a cop mindlessly shoots anyone holding something gun shaped without ascertaining their demeanor or the situation”
          Like a toy truck, for example?

          But I guess this doesn’t work perfectly, as in this case the ‘well trained’ LEO missed the man holding the tonka truck, and shot the man who worked for the group home who was attempting to get the man back inside instead. So I guess the “he’ll eventually shoot a coworker.” should have been phrased in the past tense…

      • Because that never happens. Kids aren’t walking around campus with toy guns and threatening anyone. They may have a toy gun, but it’s teachers and administrators who freak out and call SWAT. Now there’s a whole incident which can spin out of control and turn deadly.

        The root cause of the problem is not some dopey kid or even his toy gun. It’s school personnel who are themselves so terrified of the world that they hit the Bat Phone on speed dial the instant anything is howsoever remotely atypical. So why criminalize what they themselves describe as being, at worst, some prankster’s act and ruin his life? Why not fire hypersensitive teachers who are unable to control children playing with toys?

        • Because that would require accepting personal responsibility. For most of them, the avoidance of that is the entire focus of their career. Precious little snowflakes can’t even fit the idea in their heads, not even as a thought experiment.

    • Toy and fake guns are often used in crimes. I garuntee if someone draws on you, you’re not going to be taking your time to determine wether or not the gun is fake.

      • Except, we’re not talking about toys and fake guns being used to commit crimes. We’re talking about toys and fake guns being the crime itself. Huge difference.

        If I see kids playing with a toy gun, I’m not going to feel any more threatened and provoked into responding than I would if i see kids cutting their meat in the cafeteria with a knife and fork. Toy guns are meant to be played with and, while they can be used in the commission of crime, are not themselves inherently criminal. Likewise, a butter knife and fork are meant to be used with lunch and, while they, too, can be used in the commission of crime, the utensils themselves re not inherently criminal.

    • kenneth, that story has nothing to do with mistaking a toy for a real gun, and everything to do with a cop who failed the psych profile, was put on SWAT, and promptly forgot to keep his booger hook off the bang button. I guarantee you – no matter what the lying POS says about what “really happened,” it was an ND.

  1. It’s all about intent. If someone intends to cause a disturbance that is already a crime. I haven’t seen a realistic toy gun in any toy store in a few decades.

    • Most likely because they are readily available on-line for delivery to your doorstep.

      And I’m not sure if the protection sellers and manufacturers get for the legal sale of firearms that are subsequently misused applies to the local Walmart of Big 5 selling decent replica guns that are later involved in crimes. That would be an interesting question. Anybody?

    • “I haven’t seen a realistic toy gun in any toy store in a few decades.”

      Water guns and noisemakers aren’t usually made to look like realistic guns, but Airsoft and BB guns often are. Our local Walmart has several “this is not a toy” toy guns that might cause me to fear for my life if someone pointed one at me.

      This is an expensive example but there are much cheaper realistic-looking but not real guns available:

  2. Plenty of instances of cops shooting people for holding wallets, phones, babies and nothing at all.
    This “looks so real!!!” crap is a red herring of the highest order.

    • And by red herring you mean that the cop(s) are wound so tight that they are paranoid of anything that even smells like it might be a gun and shoot first. In some neighborhoods that might be applicable, but as a general rule?

      Still, you’ve got to be doing senior level research into Darwinian theory to carry a reasonable quality replica firearm onto any campus where firearms are not generally considered legal. Especially in such a manner that it can be seen and reported.

      So much for the on-campus “Gotcha” games with water pistols or paintball guns.

    • Yep. Also, what do they mean “these days?” There were tons of water guns in the 80’s (Entertech, etc.) made to look exactly like real ones. We had costume day in my peaceful suburban middle school once for Halloween and I went as a mobster. I brought a water gun that looked exactly like a Tech-9, and no one gave a shit.

      • Did you live in Tamir Rice’s neighborhood?

        The thing is, “kids” kill people nowadays. It’s easy to find plenty of cases every year where someone who would be classified as a ‘kid’ by the media, BLM, etc shoots someone.

        • And just like “nowadays,” kids were killing people in the 80’s and 90’s too. My point was that the sight of a gun, whether real or fake, should not automatically be grounds for lethal force against the bearer.

  3. I see. Imprison people to protect them from getting shot. There’s something amiss with that logic.

    • That’s the problem. I believe in seat belts and motorcycle helmets and use them, but why have a law to protect me from myself.

      • Those laws aren’t intended to protect you. They’re intended to protect your insurance company.

  4. This whole argument only holds water if the Second Amendment to the Constitution continues to be ignored. Of course in an environment where all individuals are presumed to be unarmed other than law enforcement, and anyone else who appears to be armed is an evil-doer, replica guns are a supremely BAD idea.

    IN any area where the RKBA is observed and in effect the presence of such replica weapons would be of little consequence because their misuse, as would be the misuse of an actual firearm, would be quickly dealt with by persons armed and ready to protect themselves and others. In such an event brandishing a replica firearm in a threatening manner would not be illegal, it would be suicidal.

  5. They say that fake guns look so real these days that there is a great danger that some cop will shoot a student prankster by mistake.

    Realistic replica firearms are not, I repeat, NOT the problem. The real problem is cops who figure that mere possession of a firearm justifies shooting the person who merely possesses that firearm.

    This demonstrates an EPIC failure in law enforcement who were trained that crimes require means, opportunity, and motive. A person who possesses a firearm amidst other people certainly has the means and opportunity to commit a crime. However, possessing a firearm does NOT demonstrate motive to attack others since the person who merely possesses a firearm may be doing nothing more than transporting it or carrying it for self-defense.

    On the off chance that a college student is stupid enough to use a realistic toy gun to play “pranks” on people and an armed defender shoots them, too bad for the stupid student.

    • You should be able to demonstrate for me where a cop has shot a child with a holstered or cased replica. Your assertion is that cops are willy-nilly shooting in cases where there is no apparent “motive.”
      By the way, motive is not a necessary component of criminal activity. Motive is a thought crime. It’s interesting to the armchair psychologists, and convincing to a jury, but there is zero way you can prove what is going on inside someone else’s head.
      At any rate, I’m aware of no instances where a cased or holstered replica firearm has been the trigger for a police involved shooting. I am aware of a few cases where a replica firearm was brandished toward an officer; that would be the means (a firearm) and opportunity (brandishing toward another at close range.) As I said before – at this point “motive” is irrelevant. There is no time to call a Medicaid psych counselor and have the IGOTD get in touch with his feels.
      I’m sure that you would not have made such an outrageous and on its surface preposterous accusation if you didn’t have proof of it occurring several times, though. So….

      Citation, please? 🙂

      • By the way, motive is not a necessary component of criminal activity.

        It most certainly is. It is the distinguishing characteristic that tells us whether an activity is innocent, negligent, or malicious. Did you discharge your firearm? Was it because of negligence? Then you win a “stupid gun owner” award. Was it because you were angry at a neighbor’s insult? Then you go to jail.

        Motive is a thought crime. It’s interesting to the armchair psychologists, and convincing to a jury, but there is zero way you can prove what is going on inside someone else’s head.

        A person’s actions demonstrate their motive with absolutely clarity. A person who is handling a handgun carelessly and discharges it is being stupid and irresponsible, not malicious. A person who aims that handgun at human beings and pulls the trigger multiple times while yelling racial epithets is being a violent scumbag criminal, not stupid or negligent. The motive in both cases are crystal clear. One has no motive (negligence). The other rises to malicious criminal attack.

        Just in case you missed it, a person’s DELIBERATE ACTIONS TO HARM OTHERS tells us if they are a criminal which justifies use of force.

        If you want an example of cops drawing down on people who had replica or real firearms in a holster or slung on their back, spend 5 minutes on YouTube. You will find examples.

  6. From the article:
    “it is folly to predict how the NRA will react, and maybe it will figure that kids who play with fake guns at school will be more likely to graduate to the real thing.”

    Where do they get this stuff? Are they projecting their own baseless beliefs onto the NRA?

    This bill will cover anything from kindergarten to college. Why make a law that can jail a 5 year old for up to 6 months for putting a toy gun in their backpack?
    Meh. I’m sure it’ll be aimed at high school and college kids. Maybe the snowflakes of higher learning who hate opposition will get to use it to jail open carry demonstrators.

  7. If mere possession of a toy gun (not brandishing) should constitute a crime than why even permit possession of a real firearm on campus. Seems to me that passage of the above prohibition would legally weaken the case for CCW of a real weapon. In summary, when did colleges stop teaching logic?

  8. This happened when I was a senior in college. Some freshmen bought some cheapo airsoft guns as part of a birthday prank they were going to pull on another student.

    Some other student saw them, called in and the school PD went completely apeshit. They locked down the campus, hit the freshman dorm with a tactical team and took two people into custody. Those two kids both got tossed out of school and ended up with a half dozen felony and almost as many misdemeanor charges against them.

    The whole thing, this story included, seems like a complete overreaction. Common sense just ain’t that common.

  9. Ugh, I was hoping I would click on this and see that it was from Canada or something. No such luck. Well, NJ classifies air guns as real guns throughout the entire state so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that it’s spreading.

    I would never survive college today. I mean, I would survive, but I would probably be expelled in the first week.

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