Toy Guns May Be Banned in Salisbury, Maryland

The city council is considering a ban on toy guns that look like real guns.

map of maryland

The Salisbury, Maryland, city council is considering a ban on toy guns that look like real guns. “We’re seeing kids around the country getting killed because police think they have real guns,” according to City Councilman Muir Boda. It’s hard to tell if a gun is real or not, and law enforcement doesn’t want to take the chance when it comes to high risk scenarios. Fake guns used in real crimes have become more of a problem lately.

The council believes if toy guns were not replicas of real ones, there would be no question whether someone is carrying a fake one. Toy guns are supposed to have orange tips, but those tips are easily removed. The orange doesn’t help much when it is dark outside or the orange marking is covered up by the holder’s hand. In addition, BB and pellet replica guns do not have an orange marking. While these guns are not often used in burglaries and other situations in which a policeman may shoot the carrier, seeing just the outline of a gun that looks real to the untrained eye can lead to highly volatile circumstances. A policeman is not going to look and see if the gun is fake or not before taking action.

A third reason for banning replica guns in Salisbury is the increase in stolen replica guns from the area’s Walmart. Boda, who works for Walmart, reports that replica guns was one of the hottest stolen items from that store.

The Mayor of Salisbury, Jake Day, concurs there is an issue with replica guns in this country. While he’s not sure there will be a ban, he acknowledges something has to be done about the situation. The only problem is that attacking this problem at the city level may not cause much of an impact. What really needs to happen is that a ban of replica guns should be at a state or federal level, he says. With that, the demand for replica guns will suffer, which may cause manufacturers to slow down or cease production.

City Council President Jack Heath will be bringing up the topic at the October 3 work session. To prepare for the discussion, Heath is researching the effectiveness of banning replica toy guns and how many teens have been shot by police officers for carrying fake guns. Currently, cities such as Boston, New York City, and Chicago have banned replica toy guns. The states California and Washington have banned toy guns, but allow BB and pellet guns, as long as there are fluorescent markings on the guns.