The state Assembly approves raising penalties for brandishing or carrying toy look-alike guns in public. Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy says,"I could have lost my son that day. These guns look so real and the law enforcement officer has to make a split-second decision. So praise the Lord, my son did what those officers said."
Assembly Votes to Toughen Penalties on Look-Alike Toy Guns
SACRAMENTO (AP) 8.18.04, 3:30p -- Saying police officers increasingly face split-second decisions regarding children with realistic-looking toy guns, the state Assembly passed legislation Wednesday to hike penalties for carrying or waving imitation guns in public.
After a display of real-looking toy guns caused a stir on the Assembly floor, lawmakers voted 62-2 to allow fines of $100 and $300 for first offenses, and making a third offense a misdemeanor crime. The vote followed a personal story by one lawmaker about his toy gun-toting nine-year-old son who inadvertently faced several Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies with their guns drawn.
"I could have lost my son that day," said Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy, R-Monrovia. "These guns look so real and the law enforcement officer has to make a split-second decision. ... So praise the Lord, my son did what those officers said."
Mountjoy said his son had painted the orange tip of his toy gun silver to match the plastic gun's color, and taken it into a fast food restaurant.
Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, a former law enforcement officer, cited similar cases in Auburn, Lakewood and Bishop where officers drew guns on teenagers and younger children with realistic-looking guns.
"I will tell you, law enforcement officers are scared to death of taking another's life, but when it comes to children, it's even more detrimental," Spitzer said.
The bill, by Sen. Joe Dunn, D-Garden Grove, requires that imitation firearms offered for sale in California after July 1, 2005, must have a "conspicuous advisory" explaining that using the gun in public may cause "confusion" and possibly be a crime. The advisory must also declare that changing the color of the gun will make it more dangerous.
Toy manufacturers that don't comply with the requirement will face fines up to $10,000.
The bill doesn't apply to brightly colored toy guns.
The legislation now returns to the Senate for approval. To become law it must pass by Aug. 31 and be signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger before Sept. 30.
Hey just paint your Glock blaze orange and you've got it made!
i feel if you take a job as a cop you are moraly obligated to protect the public first not yourself. what is next outlawing knives at eateries? it seems most cops now are not willing to do the job that they swore an oath to. i don't think that situation would have ended with guns drawn on a child 20-30 years ago.
or add on some super-soaker parts