Legislation Introduced To Ban Imitation Firearms In California

| by

One month after the tragic shooting death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez, California lawmakers have introduced legislation to ban imitation firearms in the state.

The bill would require BB, pellet and airsoft guns to be brightly colored or translucent so that they are not mistaken for the real thing, according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

“A toy should look like a toy,” said California Sen. Noreen Evans. “It should not look like a lethal weapon.”

Fox News reports that officials introduced the bill one month after Deputy Erick Gelhaus shot and killed Santa Rosa teen Andy Lopez after reportedly mistaking his BB gun for an assault rifle.

The law in California already prohibits imitation firearms like the one the teen carried from being displayed in public unless the weapon meets color guidelines. Federal statutes also require that weapons that expel plastic pellets, such as airsoft guns, be equipped with orange tips.

The legislation would require that all BB, pellet and airsoft guns made and sold in the state be colored a certain way. Paintball guns would be exempted.

State lawmakers plan to introduce the proposal in January when the new legislative session begins.

The bill is co-authored by Evans and Sen. Kevin de Leon, who introduced similar legislation in 2011 after police shot and paralyzed a 13-year-old Los Angeles boy carrying a BB gun modeled after a real handgun.

That bill reportedly stalled in committee amid resistance from gun manufacturers and the gun lobby, which likened the restrictions to a ban.

Sources: Fox News, Santa Rosa Press Democrat