Replica guns becoming harder to detect

CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – Following a police involved shooting in Centerville on February first with a 15-year-old teen, Chief of Police, Bruce Robertson says the suspect brandished a replica handgun.

“I’m not going to be the first chief of police to tell you that something has to be done with these replica handguns. Police officers are out in these situations were they can’t tell,” said Chief Robertson.

The 15-year-old suspect was shot by officers after he pulled a replica handgun on officers next to the police station and refused to put it down.

Chief Robertson said, “You can see the photo’s, I’d have to say a person trained or untrained, police officer or not, in that situation would identify that as a real handgun.”

Miami Valley Armory owner, David Becker says replica guns like airsoft guns are made with an orange tip, to help people tell the difference.

“The airsoft gun is supposed to have a very vivid orange tip on the top of the barrel system, said Becker. He added, “That’s easily masked by electrical tape or paint so it’s very hard for an officer to tell weather its live or not.”

Becker believes that replica gun makers are simply following demand.

“They are taking cues from what society is doing as far as video game systems and they want them to look at authentic as possible,” said Becker.

With no limitations on buying replica guns, BB-gun or airsoft, Chief Robertson asks that parents have conversations with their children about safely using and owning replica handguns. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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