OWASSO teen arrested for carrying gun on student property

Monday, August 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Toy guns may seem harmless, but area Police are warning parents to take them as seriously as they would real guns. In fact, a couple of college freshmen in Ohio face murder charges after they killed a 13-year-old boy who was picking pears with his friends.

Here with more on how seriously local Police are taking this problem. The News on Six's Tami Marler says each year about 30,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to BB and pellet guns. Most are between the ages of five and fourteen.

But there is "one more" reason you should be concerned about your child’s toy gun. Cliff Motto with the Owasso Police Department: "It looks like a real gun. To be carrying that around in public. It's extremely dangerous. You can just put two and two together and know what's gonna happen.” What happened in this case, Owasso Police caught a 16-year-old boy carrying this gun in the waistband of his pants. He reportedly threatened two younger kids at an Owasso movie theater, and then carried it to a high school dance. That's where police arrested him. Motto: "This person was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, and for bringing a concealed weapon onto school property."

Felony charges, because, while the guns may technically be considered toys - they certainly look like something else. Tulsa Police Sgt Wayne Allen, "This is actually a colt mark 4, 45 caliber, semi-automatic weapon. A very deadly weapon. This is a Beretta 9 MM, also a deadly weapon. Very popular weapon. Very popular handgun. And this of course is the BB pistol. Weighs about a fourth of the weight of a real firearm. But you don't know that until you're able to put your hands on it.” Tulsa Police take the toys seriously. They say this man robbed twelve local convenience stores. They caught him on several store surveillance videos. All along, they believed he was carrying a semi-automatic pistol. During a high-speed chase, they still believed he was armed, even fired several shots at his car. Allen: "He had the weapon on him when he committed an armed robbery, and when he ran from the scene and police officers assumed it was real at that point. It wasn't until it was later real at that point. It wasn't until it was later recovered at the car that it was determined to be a BB gun." He adds, "And up until it was confiscated, everybody thought it was real. That's correct. It looks real on film, and although I can tell the difference here, and you may be able to tell the difference now, I doubt that your viewers will be able to tell the difference. That's why I encourage parental supervision when these things are purchased for children."

Toy gun manufacturers recommend that you always wear eye protection while using the guns. Adults aged 18 and older should only purchase them and minors should only fire them with parental supervision. Never show-off the guns, or shoot at animals - or other people. Manufacturers also recommend that you treat these guns with the same respect as you would a real firearm.