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Toy guns focus of new ordinance
The Edmond Sun
EDMOND — The Edmond City Council voted 5-0 Monday night to regulate the possession of airsoft guns, toy guns and replica firearms.
Federal law mandates that these items must be sold with orange tips to help identify them from real firearms. The City Council’s ordinance prohibits the possession of these items if their orange tip has been removed, altered or painted over.
Airsoft is an informal term for BB guns that shoot plastic projectiles, said Edmond Police Officer Matt Harden during a PowerPoint presentation. They appear nearly identical to regular firearms but pose no risk of serious injury, he said.
Harden said Edmond Police have responded to alleged dangerous incidents to find individuals that had been described as carrying a firearm had instead a toy gun in their possession.
Two armed robberies in January at the Dollar General Store and the Sonic Drive-In on Broadway were carried out by a suspect with an airsoft gun. Harden showed an image of the airsoft gun to the council.
“This particular airsoft gun almost cost someone his life,” Harden said.
He pointed out incidents in other parts of the U.S. where police had shot, killed or wounded individuals they mistakenly thought were threatening public safety with a firearm.
City Attorney Stephen Murdock said the City of Edmond already has ordinances dealing with carrying harmful weapons and discharging firearms.
“But we did not feel like we have an ordinance to deal with some of the situations that Matt will describe,” Murdock said. These are items that can be purchased at retail shops in the community.
Councilman David Miller suggested that the Police Department hand out fliers and signs to be posted in stores alerting the public the ordinance makes it illegal for consumers to remove the orange tips from airsoft guns.
“If somebody is going to do this in order to commit a crime, this ordinance is not going to stop them,” Miller said. “But it will stop some kid from getting killed because he realizes if he does it he’ll be in trouble with his parents.”
Police Chief Bob Ricks said his department would agree to provide materials to retail shops alerting consumers to be aware of the law.