Local law enforcement weigh in on the dangers of realistic-looking BB guns

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The fatal shooting in Ohio is sparking a widespread conversation about the appearance of BB guns.

They aren’t required to have a bright color on them, and can easily be mistaken for the real thing.

“A car drove by and started shooting, what I thought, was a gun at me,” RPI Student Rebecca Leonard said.

A terrifying moment for Leonard last week.

The RPI student was both relieved and nervous when she learned the weapon was just a BB gun.

“I spent a few days not wanting to walk anywhere alone unless it was light out.”

More people are brandishing BB guns that look too much like the real thing.

A terrifying moment captured on police body camera footage in Cobleskill when Walmart customers say a 13-year old boy threatened them with a BB gun.

Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says these situations can easily turn deadly if BB guns don’t have a clear distinction.

“If somebody pulls one of those guns out, chances are they are going to get shot,” Sheriff Apple said. “I mean, you’re talking about a split-second decision that determines whether you go home to your family, or that person pays the price for pulling out that gun.”

That’s why there’s a bill before the senate codes committee, requiring all BB guns to have a bright color to them.

“It speaks to what’s happened in the last two years. It’s a very slippery slope, but it’s a very simple step forward to do the right thing,” Senator Neil Breslin said.

Leonard couldn’t tell the difference until she was hit.

“Because it looked and sounded like a gun, I at first thought it was real until a pellet actually hit me.”


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