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Firearms that resemble toys:

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by HKLovingIT, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. HKLovingIT

    HKLovingIT Resident Evil

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    Aug 20, 2010
    Out On The Tiles
    Hi Mas,

    Longtime reader and first time poster to your forum section.

    I stumbled across this firearm in a cheerful yellow. :supergrin:

    My thoughts are that this is pushing things a bit far when a real firearm can so closely resemble a toy. Both from a general safety/kids about the house perspective and from the standpoint that a firearm used in self defense should look like a firearm. Am I wrong in thinking that drawing something like this, that a perpetrator could reasonably think to be a toy, has dangerous implications at the moment of defense and perhaps could open a legal can or worms later on?


  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

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    Nov 6, 2005
    Your concern is a legitimate one in my opinion. When the matter comes up, what we've seen so far indicates that it's going to depend on the color scheme.

    It goes in part to a theme that often comes up in court called "common custom and practice." For example, it is common to see firearms with camo finish used for hunting, and many see handguns with OD Green or Dark Earth coloration as an homage to our armed services. While opposing counsel might argue that the user was pretending to be a soldier he wasn't, it would be a pretty thin argument.

    Many shooters dislike pink handguns on esthetic grounds. However, their existence has been discussed in the mainstream media, with little negative effect. When a politician got zinged because she demonstrated her raspberry-colored LCP and a reporter stepped in front of it, no one beefed her because her "cute little gun" was a "feminine color." When a woman shot and killed a home invader with a Charter Arms Pink Lady revolver, it was seen as interesting, not sinister, by most who read about it.

    What you're concerned about with the bright yellow gun -- that it looks like a toy -- has already been addressed by the legal system with criminals carrying guns painted Day-Glo Orange or red. These are colors associated by both the industry and the general public with toy guns or non-shootable guns. There have been cases of criminals carrying them with the obvious or even stated intent of fooling police into believing they didn't have real guns, in hopes that the cops would hesitate to shoot them and allow the criminals to shoot first.

    In a case well-documented here at GT (do a search for "Leonard Embody" or "Kwikrnu") an in-your-face open carrier painted his AK47 semiautomatic pistol orange to deliberately confuse police and other observers as to whether his gun was real or not. This was seen as a manifestation of sinister intent by a majority, and figured in him losing his concealed carry permit. If the practice triggers a reaction that hostile here at GlockTalk, with an audience made up of people most would consider a dream "jury of your peers" in a gun case, it gives us a good idea of how badly such a gun would play in front of an average American jury.