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Police Warning on Dangers With Replica Firearms

15-year-old juvenile playing with Airsoft rifle sparked police response near school campus.

Here's information provided by the Livermore Police Department:

On October 15, 2012, at approximately 1:18 p.m., patrol officers responded to Livermore Charter School at 543 Sonoma Avenue for a report of a man with a gun. Witnesses on scene advised responding officers that the suspect had been at the rear of a nearby residence. He was described as wearing a clown mask, while holding what appeared to be an air soft rifle with an orange tip. Officers later contacted a 15-year-old juvenile who admitted he was involved. The juvenile stated he was playing and meant no harm. Officers conducted a thorough investigation and ultimately reprimanded the juvenile for his actions. The involved juvenile’s parents were notified and the Airsoft gun was confiscated by them.

During this incident, the Livermore Charter School closed down the Wall Street access area as a safety precaution. As a result, students were diverted to the front of the school.

In light of this incident and others like it, the Livermore Police Department would like to take this opportunity to address the very real danger of irresponsible use of a replica firearm. Many of these weapons are made to be as realistic in appearance as possible, to include functioning triggers, slides, and removable magazines. Oftentimes, consumers remove federal and state mandated safety devices from the weapons in order to make them appear more real. We urge all users of replica firearms, Airsoft guns, and BB guns to be especially sensitive to their surroundings, follow applicable laws, and utilize these weapons in a responsible manner.

A few important safety precautions include the following:

  • All firearms, even replica firearms, should be regarded under the same set of safety standards.
  • Firearms should always be considered loaded. Firearms should always be pointed in a safe direction. No Firearm is a toy.

The following laws govern the use of imitation firearms:

  • The Livermore Municipal Code states the discharge of firearms and toy pistols is prohibited within the city limits (LMC 9.72.010).
  • The California Penal Code states imitation firearms may not be displayed in a public place (PC20170).
  • The California Penal Code states removal or alteration of safety markings (ie: orange tip) is prohibited (PC20150).

Due to the increase in injuries and unfortunate deaths due to the improper use of replica firearms, the Livermore Police Department is actively enforcing laws concerning the use of replica firearms. This focused enforcement is to ensure the safety and security of all those who live within this community. If you see anyone openly displaying weapons of any type, please dial 911. While doing so, please provide the dispatcher with as much of the following information as possible:

  • Description of subjects involved (race, height, weight, clothing, etc).
  • Location and direction of movement.
  • Type of weapons and any visible markings (orange tip).

If you have a question or concern regarding replica firearms, please contact the Livermore Police Department at 925-371-4987 (non-emergency). In case of emergency, please contact 911.

Roger V. Tranfaglia October 18, 2012 at 03:39 PM
The same should be said for paintball markers too!!

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