Painted Guns Worrying Authorities

Thursday, January 24th 2008, 10:58 pm
By: News On 6

Police departments are being warned about a new trend in guns. They're being painted in bright colors. The concern is the painted guns will look like toys to children or maybe, even to police. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright the advisory from the Broward County Sheriff's Office warns officers to be aware officers are encountering guns that are painted colors. Tulsa police take that warning seriously.

Several companies are now manufacturing color finishes for handguns and rifles. Green and black is pretty subtle, but some are not, like orange or even pink. One even has a Hello Kitty logo on it, something an officer might overlook, even though it can be deadly.

"He's on a car stop and sees a gun that's pink or light blue or purple with polka dots, like this one and thinks, that's a toy gun and moves on and the next thing you know, the suspect has pulled it and now they're in a deadly force encounter," said TPD Sergeant Luke Sherman.

There are all kinds of custom paint jobs, some are even neon. Another concern is police traditionally use blue or red simulation weapons in training and associate those with being harmless.

Some officers say it's tough enough already.

When officers face life and death choices, having this information can be key.

"It's very harsh territory to get into pressuring officers to identify is it fake, painted fake or real, it's too much," said Sergeant Sherman.

People who paint their guns argue it's a cool look and everything is customized these days. They say no painted gun has been used in a crime and trying to ban them will only hurt the law abiding folks.

Some states are looking at banning colored guns.