UPDATED: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 --- 8:20 p.m.
REPORTER: Chris Woodard
As if the real deal wasn't a big enough problem, now Madison Police have problems with fake guns.
The latest incident proving once again these toys could lead to a deadly mistake.
They look real feel real and sound real. It's often hard to tell they're not.
Owner of Grampa's Gun Shop Larry Gleasman says, "Absolutely, couldn't tell the difference. In broad daylight you couldn't tell the difference on some of them."
Gleasman has been in the gun business for years and if someone like him can barely tell not a single one of these guns are real, you can imagine how hard it's getting for police who worry these look alike guns are gaining popularity.
The latest incident was Monday night near Goodman Pool.
A worried woman called police who found a 14 year old boy playing with what looked like handgun on the playground just feet away from dozens of kids.
Two months ago at Penn Park an officer pulled his gun on a 12 year old boy who had a BB gun in his pants.
Gleasman says, "If a kid wants a gun that looks like a real gun he'll have a gun that looks like a real gun.
Luckily, officers never decided to shoot. But making a split second decision a mistake can easily be made.
Looking at these two guns it's almost impossible to tell which one is fake and which one is the real deal. One of these doesn't fire at all, the other one, perfectly functional. This one is fake but almost no one would be able to tell you that.
Gleasman says, "It's pretty easy to find something that looks like a gun, particularly at night."
Things like BB guns, paintball guns, and Air Soft guns are making officers jobs harder and in the wrong situation they say, putting young lives at risk.
During Monday night's incident the 14 year old boy who had an Air Soft gun was cited for unlawful use of a facsimile firearm and a discharge of firearms violation.
Posted Tuesday, July 26, 2009 --- 12:15 p.m.
From Madison Police Department:
On Monday evening a 48-year old Madison woman called police from the Goodman Pool, 301 W. Olin Avenue, after seeing a young man with - what appeared to be - a handgun.
She said he was with some other teens horsing around on playground equipment near the pool.
The weapon had scared her, and she was particularly concerned because there were so many children in the area.
Officers located the teen. He had an Air Soft gun, and a bag of BB pellets.
He admitted to shooting the weapon at a tree said he likes guns, and was just trying to have some fun.
The officer told him just because he likes guns, he does not have the right to go to a public park with one, and that his actions had frightened people.
The teen was cited for Unlawful Use of Facsimile Firearm, and a Discharge of Firearms Violation.