After back-to-back fake gun calls, Arlington police chief calls attention to replica gun laws

A student at Lamar High School in Arlington took a fake gun to school Monday, Arlington police said.

Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson tweeted that a student overheard a peer saying they had a weapon in their backpack. Police responded to the school at about 2:30 p.m. and found the student and a replica handgun.

“Replica imitation firearms have no place in our schools... period! We need to bolster our laws on fake guns,” Johnson tweeted.

On Saturday night, Arlington police shot and killed a man who pointed a replica BB gun at officers, according to police. Officers thought the BB gun was a real handgun.

Johnson has called attention to the problem with fake guns before.

In November, Johnson tweeted about the problem after a 21-year-old pointed a replica gun at officers at The Parks Mall at Arlington and was shot by police.

“Replica imitation firearms/BB guns have no place in society when used in criminal endeavors. There is no training that would allow officers to distinguish between what’s real and what’s fake in a matter of seconds,” Johnson tweeted after the incident.

At that time, Arlington Police Lt. Christopher Cook said the department was urging new legislation to eliminate fake guns in public spaces.

Johnson also said a replica BB gun was found in a 15-year-old’s car in June.

“Looks like an AK-47- It’s heavy, it’s metal, & looks like the real thing,” he said in a tweet. “No reason for a replica Airsoft to look like this!”

In May 2016, Johnson tweeted about a 16-year-old who police say dropped a fake gun during a robbery.

“Still dealing w/fake guns,” he tweeted.

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Kaley Johnson is a breaking news and enterprise reporter. She majored in investigative reporting at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has a passion for bringing readers in-depth, complex stories that will impact their lives. Send your tips via email or Twitter.