Airsoft guns raise safety concerns

Airsoft guns raise safety concerns

A training room at the Jonesboro Police Department is covered with various pistols. Kimbers, Colts, Berettas and more. They're just some of the guns confiscated by JPD during various arrests over the past three years.

The common denominator is that they're all airsoft guns.

"If their intent was to make them look real, they've certainly done that," Paul Holmes said.

Holmes, JPD's Public Information Specialist, urges safety for anyone who has bought received an airsoft gun for the holidays.

"You can see the dangers that these represent, they're very authentic looking," he said.

Upon closer inspection, one could likely tell the fake guns apart from the real ones. But Holmes explained that the person behind the gun might not always have the same intent.

"Some people may buy those with the intent not to use them for target practice or any legitimate use but because they look real," Holmes said.

Just last month, Jonesboro Police received a report from a concerned citizen about numerous teens buying airsoft guns late at night.

"We don't know what the intended use was but certainly, the timing of the purchases very late at night does make you wonder."

Waiting to find out which gun is real isn't an option.

"It certainly would be very difficult to distinguish in a matter of a few seconds or in the dark and the officers have to make those judgements for their safety and safety of those around them in a very small amount of time," Holmes said.

Holmes also advised that when using airsoft guns for target practice, make sure you use the same precautions as you would a real gun.

Also, don't ever point an airsoft gun at another person or a police officer.

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