If someone pointed a gun at you, could you tell whether that gun was real or fake?
Last week, a 15-year old boy approached an Arlington police officer sitting in his patrol vehicle. When the officer exited his car, the boy pulled out a gun and pointed it at him.
The officer, who hasn’t been named, knocked the gun out of the teen’s hand before taking him to the ground and calling for backup.
The firearm was actually a BB gun that resembled a police-issued Glock handgun.
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Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson spoke about the incident at a news conference Friday. He said the proximity between the two was the only reason the officer didn’t reach for his firearm.
In 2012, a 15-year-old Brownsville student was shot and killed by police in similar circumstances.
These guns look similar not only to traditional weapons but also to specific models of firearms. Criminals have used them in holdups.
Though toy imitation firearms are federally prohibited unless they have “permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel,” traditional BB guns are not considered a “look-alike firearm.”
They hover somewhere in the danger zone between a toy and a weapon.
Texas does not have any laws regarding the markings on BB or pellet guns.
“I can think of no reason why that gun needs to look like that,” Johnson said.
We can’t either.