Phila. Council Moves Toward Tougher Penalties For Selling Realistic Toy Guns

By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A City Council committee today approved two bills aimed at reducing the chance that a police officer might accidently shoot a child holding a fake gun.

One measure restricts the sale of toy guns in the city unless the toy is brightly colored.

Testifying in support was Capt. Francis Healy of the Philadelphia Police Department, who says some toy guns are far too realistic.

“I’ve seen some AR-15-looking type of toys.  I know my guns a little bit, and I have to look twice to see what they are,” he said.

 

 

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(Capt. Francis Healy testfies.  Image from City of Phila. TV)

(Capt. Francis Healy testfies. Image from City of Phila. TV)

Also approved in Council’s public safetey committee was a bill that increases the fines for stores that sell BB guns, whose sale is already banned in the city.

Healy said a BB gun aimed at an officer could lead to tragedy:

“The mere fact that a ten-year-old is carrying one of these is not going to be the cause of his death.  If he turns around and points it at a police officer — yes, without a doubt.”

That bill that boosts the penalty from $100 to $1,000, and could lead to the city revoking the store’s business license for six months to a year.

Healy voiced reservations about the police department’s ability to confiscate either toy guns or BB guns.  The committee approval came despite that concern, and both bills now go to the full City Council for a vote, perhaps as early as next week.

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