BB Gun legislation at standstill

BB gun prompts concerns (WDTN Photo)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – New scrutiny over B-B guns that look real is rising. The talk comes after Dayton Police Officer Steve McCall fired at a suspect holding one of those fake guns on Wednesday morning.

In May, Cincinnati State Representative Alicia Reece introduced the John Crawford Bill; it’s named after the 22-year-old who had a B-B gun at the Beavercreek Walmart. A shopper reported that Crawford was waving the fake gun around in the mega-store. Police later responded and a Beavercreek officer shot and killed.

If the bill passed and became law, it would require some type of bright mark on all fake guns and a clearly visible message on packaging.

2 NEWS’ Beairshelle Edmé called the representative’s office and learned since May her bill has been at standstill. There will be a second hearing and it will be public, but the chairman has not yet set the date for that.

State lawmakers will not be back in session until September 30th.

Some say it’s a long time for no solution to an issue officers say is growing.

In a press conference Wednesday, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said, “This is not uncommon right. You’re seeing this crop up again and again in events around the country and as you’re well aware in a fraction of a second in the nighttime, in a darkened location– in a fraction of a second where a weapon is displayed there is very little way for an officer to determine what is a firearm versus what is a B-B pellet or toy gun.”

David Bertke sells fake guns at his store. He said, “Well, if used properly I would say no danger” to the community from B-B guns.

Bertke, who has used guns since he was a child in competition and for sport, says education may be a big reason for the misuse and abuse of these B-B guns.

Additionally, the toy guns are fairly cheap to buy, often less than $50. And since manufactures keep making them look even more real, he says a gun expert like himself could mistake a fake for a real firearm.

While glancing over at a B-B gun and real gun on his counter he remarked, “I mean I would have trouble knowing this is a pellet gun. I would have trouble pointing this at anybody even though I know it’s a pellet gun. If I had my gun as a kid that didn’t shoot anything, I’d still have trouble pointing it anybody. It’s just sort of ingrained into my psyche. I just can’t point one of these things at anybody.”

But Wednesday, one man did point a fake gun at Officer McCall. And police say it’s scenarios like the most recent one that can cause tragic endings.

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