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.”