POLICE FEAR FAKE GUNS WILL HAVE DEADLY CONSEQUENCES DEPUTIES WARN TOY PISTOLS COULD PROVOKE FATAL FORCE.Byline: Bhavna Mistry Staff Writer
VALENCIA - Placed next to a sheriff's deputy's revolver, the toy gun looks like the real thing.
Toys that, on the surface, closely resemble real guns are becoming popular among Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, teens, and local authorities worry that the resemblance could prove deadly.
``I see no legitimate purpose for possessing these,'' said Deputy Dan Finn, a juvenile crimes investigator on an anti-gang unit that operates out of the Santa Clarita sheriff's station. ``A kid's going to get shot by an armed victim or a sheriff's deputy.''
The foreign-made model guns - ranging in price from $100 to several hundred dollars - are made of plastic and metal, and they are weighted like real firearms. They have removable magazines that hold soft pellets and retractable re·tract
v. re·tract·ed, re·tract·ing, re·tracts
1. To take back; disavow: refused to retract the statement.
2. slides. Most bear the words ``U.S. military.'' One version even has a logo that strongly resembles the Beretta be·ret·ta or ber·ret·ta
Variants of biretta. trademark.
They come with the required red tip to show they're not real firearms, but some teens are scraping off the tell-tale paint to make the fakes appear entirely real.
``I've never seen one this realistic before,'' Finn said. ``Our main concern is that these are being sold to kids in our valley.''
A model Beretta revolver sells for about $100, while an MP5 submachine gun look-alike sells for several hundred dollars.
``This is what our SWAT team uses as their assault rifle,'' Finn said about the MP5. ``Ours would say 'H&K' and theirs (fake), 'K&L.' Why does a kid need a several-hundred-dollar toy gun?''
The Beretta is also standard issue in the Los Angeles Police Department "LAPD" and "L.A.P.D." redirect here. For other uses, see LAPD (disambiguation).
This article or section is written like an . , whose officials share fears that the toy guns will lead to disaster.
``From a distance it could be mistaken for a real gun,'' said Officer Jason Lee, an LAPD 1. LAPD - Link Access Procedure on the D channel.
2. LAPD - Los Angeles Police Department. spokesman. ``If if were pointed at law enforcement officials, the result could be devastating dev·as·tate
tr.v. dev·as·tat·ed, dev·as·tat·ing, dev·as·tates
1. To lay waste; destroy.
2. To overwhelm; confound; stun: was devastated by the rude remark. .''
Police think parents should take charge and keep the fake guns out of their children's hands.
``It's not illegal to possess (one),'' Lee added. ``But it's very important to educate the children about shooting it or pointing it at law enforcement or anyone.''
A clerk at the Army Navy & Paintball paintball Sports medicine A sport in which marble-sized gelatin capsules filled with a nontoxic dye are shot at speeds of 300 kph/200 mph Warning: store in Newhall acknowledged that the model guns are popular, but called them safe if used responsibly.
The clerk, who asked not to be identified, said the guns are sold only to adults, who use them in target practice or at special shooting areas.
The realistic-looking model weapons have been sold for about three years, and problems have begun cropping up recently.
Two youths from Newhall and Saugus were arrested Dec. 21 on suspicion assault with a deadly weapon Assault with a Deadly Weapon is the term used to describe the act of threatening to harm one or more people by using a weapon (usually a firearm). Here, assault must be differentiated from battery as they are often confused. Assault is threatening to use force. after police said they and two of their friends fired a fake submachine gun from their truck.
The four shot pellets at Kmart shoppers in a parking lot, at commuters waiting for city buses and at two Canyon Country men at a Christmas tree Christmas tree
Evergreen tree, usually decorated with lights and ornaments, to celebrate the Christmas season. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as symbols of eternal life was common among the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. lot, deputies said.
They missed their targets, but two men chased them toward Valencia Boulevard and reported the incident to deputies.
The youths dumped their toy submachine gun before deputies caught up with them, but they later confessed, Deputy Finn said.
On Nov. 1, a 17-year-old driver was arrested after an off-duty security guard spotted him pointing a Beretta look-a-like at an elderly woman motorist on Sierra Highway, alerted authorities and followed the teen driver and his passenger.
The guard suspected the two were gang members with a real weapon who planned a drive-by shooting drive-by shooting Public health A phenomenon in which one or more persons–commonly members of street gangs, open fire à la Al Capone from moving vehicles, often in retaliation for an alleged wrong-doing by a rival gang .
As the duo continued into the Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. , the security guard saw one of them shoot at a stop sign. Sheriff's deputies stopped the teen driver at gunpoint on Radbrook Place in Valencia at gunpoint.
Deputies said the driver, a Hart High student, confessed and was charged with displaying an imitation firearm. Finn said he was lucky to be alive.
``If he would have got out with the gun in his hand, he would have been shot,'' Finn said. ``We don't have time to think if this is a real gun or not.''
Another version of this story appears in Main News.
(color) Without the tag on the toy, even an expert could mistake it for the 9mm Beretta a sheriff's deputy holds in his other hand.
Shaun Dyer/Special to the Daily News