Realistic toy guns cause concern for law enforcement

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

Lincoln Police said they’ve seen an increase in BB gun vandalism, and BB guns on the streets.

But the major concern is that these toys look all too real.

An example over the weekend: police responded to a call that a group of teenagers were in peter pan park with a handgun.

"As officers arrived and contacted the teenagers they were uncooperative with officers, they became confrontational and refused to answer any questions,” Officer Angela Sands said.

Four teens continued to struggle with police as the officer placed them in custody. One even reaching his hands behind him, toward his waist, a place police say someone could easily conceal a weapon.

At this time all the officers knew was someone had seen them with a gun.

"He was able to place handcuffs on the teenager and eventually they found CO2 BB guns pistols in their backpacks,” Sands said.

Officer Sands said the guns looked and felt extremely real, making this is a dangerous situation.

"When we get there that’s the only information we have, that teenagers have what appears to be a real gun, then when they start to struggle with us that’s alarming, it can escalate quickly,” Sands said.

They’ve taken multiple BB guns off of different kids this week, and said parents need to be aware.

"We strongly encourage parents to make sure they’re aware if their children have these types of BB guns,” Sands said. “Where they’re taking them, what they’re doing with them, if they look real or not, and if an officer approaches you just cooperate and let them know– I have a BB gun."

Sands suggests only buying BB guns with an orange tip or other clear markings that it isn’t a real gun.

It’s also against the law to shoot BB guns in city limits, and to have them in parks.