Between 1987 and 1990, there was a rash of well-publicized shootings across the US in which police shot and sometimes killed children who were playing with toy guns. Yes indeedy, this is still in progress. I'm gonna finish this. Honest and for true. Comments welcome. References very welcome.
Interesting news. About 6 months ago, I received the following email from someone claiming to be the county prosecutor in Teton County, Idaho. I did some phoning around and verified the sender. I also managed to weasel some information out of the sherriffs who were investigating the case. Seemed like a perfectly normal case here, in which some kids were playing with these guns and got shot by a cop. I wasn't able to find out whether or not the kids brandished the guns at the cops (the usual case) but the case should be sufficiently stale by now that I can find out. The sherriffs were still investigating when I talked to them, so they weren't able to say too much.
I've removed the email addresses from the mail so that you guys don't harrass her for being a blazing moron.
Date: Tue, 07 Oct 1997 12:39:05 -0600 From: "Nancy G. Schwartz" Organization: Teton County Prosecutor X-Mailer: Mozilla 2.02E-KIT (Win95; U) MIME-Version: 1.0 To: email@example.com Subject: Fatalities due to toy guns X-URL: http://www.darkwater.com/sinster/essays/airsoft.html Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit I am the County Prosecutor for Teton County, Idaho. I am currently involved in a case in which the parties involved do not understand the seriousness of children and toy guns. Could you possibly send me any information you have gathered on this subject? I would really appreciate it. My e-mail address is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
I'm going to be very interested to see which side of the case she took. From her email she seems to believe that children shouldn't be allowed to play with toy guns in preference to teaching them not to brandish at a cop.
The law is California Penal Code 417.2, and reads:
417.2. (a) Commencing January 1, 1989, any person who purchases, sells, manufactures, ships, transports, distributes, or receives, by mail order or in any other manner, an imitation firearm in violation of this section shall be liable for a civil fine in an action brought by the city attorney of the city or the district attorney of the county of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation. (b) The manufacture, purchase, sale, shipping, transport, distribution, or receipt, by mail or in any other manner, of imitation firearms is permitted if the device is manufactured, purchased, sold, shipped, transported, distributed, or received for any of the following purposes: (1) Solely for export in interstate or foreign commerce. (2) Solely for lawful use in theatrical productions, including motion picture, television, and stage productions. (3) For use in a certified or regulated athletic event or competition. (4) For use in military or civil defense activities. (5) For public displays authorized by public or private schools. (c) As used in this section, "imitation firearm" means a replica of a firearm that is so substantially similar in physical properties to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to conclude that the replica is a firearm. (d) As used in this section, "imitation firearm" does not include any of the following: (1) A nonfiring collector's replica of an antique firearm that was designed prior to 1898, is historically significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case. (2) A nonfiring collector's replica of a firearm that was designed after 1898, is historically significant, was issued as a commemorative by a nonprofit organization, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case. (3) A device, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001. (4) A firearm that contains, or has affixed to it, a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce, as provided in Section 5001 of Title 15 of the United States Code. (5) An instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring action, or a spot marker gun.