New York reached a deal with major retailers over toy guns, Wal-Mart, Sears, and Amazon have agreed to keep realistic looking toy guns off their shelves or face stiff penalties.
There is no state ban on realistic toy guns in Pennsylvania. The city of Philadelphia does have a ban on realistic toy guns and airsoft guns being sold in the city.
Federal law requires toy guns to have an orange tip.
“The only thing I have really seen that actually looked like a real gun would be a BB gun,” said Brandon Stendahl, of Carlisle.
“The BB guns and the CO2 guns that do not have that orange tip on them, they look like real guns,” said Andre Fugh. “You could run up on somebody and they would think it is a real gun.”
BB guns are not required to have an orange tip. State law requires you to be 18 years old to purchase one. The box does have a warning on the side stating they can be mistaken for a real firearm.
“Today they are made to look a lot more realistic than years ago. That makes it very difficult for us for making that split-second decision: is this real or is this not real,” said Sgt. Peter Beauduy of the Upper Allen Township Police Department.
Upper Allen Township police have come across toy guns that look real.
“When we come across kids that have them in their cars or their bikes, we try and educate them to let them know they need to be really careful. From a vantage point, maybe 50 to 100 yards away, it is going be hard to determine that they are not real,” Beauduy said.
“The toy guns are supposed to have orange tips on them. Some kids are camouflaging the orange tip to make it look more realistic, which is very dangerous,” he said. “Then, we have the bad guys that are actually color coating their tips orange to make it look like they are not real. It is a dangerous situation either way.”