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California Legislature May Re-Visit Realistic Non-Lethal Gun Issue

Aired 10/28/13 on KPBS News.

Gun control advocates in California are raising the issue of real looking air guns and toy guns after the recent shooting death of a Northern California teenager by police who mistook his air rifle for a real one.

Gun control advocates in California are raising the issue of real looking air guns and toy guns after the recent shooting death of a Northern California teenager by police who mistook his air rifle for a real one.

Laura Cataletta, an attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, favors legislation requiring look-alike guns to be clearly identifiable. She said police have a hard enough job.

"Without also having to also be able to quickly determine whether a gun is real or not real," Cataletta noted.

Santa Rosa teenager Andy Lopez was carrying a replica assault rifle air gun when he was shot. Stacy Leistner with the Toy Industry Association said federal regulations for toy guns could be applied to air guns.

"Whether it's a color, or transparent nature for the entire device, or a permanent orange color plug at the tip of the gun," Leistner said.

State Senator Kevin de León is considering re-introducing his unsuccessful 2012 bill to require BB and air guns to be clearly marked.

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