Let me be clear

Whenever I read blog entries and news articles like this one, I have a very strong mixed reaction.  On the one, I often feel like the cops are overreacting and engaging in histrionics over what amount to toys, on the other hand I also believe that they’re making a valid point.  If some dumb kid pointed an airsoft gun and me and was yelling or some shit, I’ve got less than a second to decide that it’s an airsoft/real gun and shoot/no shoot.

So here’s my advice to the Special Air Softers out there.  If you’re playing airsoft, and you hear someone say “drop the gun”, do not whip around with your blaster in hand to see who said.  DROP.  THE.  GUN.  Immediately.

I might take some flack from people who think I’m kowtowing to authority or whatever, but I honestly don’t care.  If you’re going to mess around with toys that look a lot like real guns, you need to be responsible with them.  If you’re going to play with them in public places where getting the cops called on you is a possibility, you need to understand how to deal with the police.

If Officer Friendly gets a “man with a gun” call, he has no idea of knowing if it’s a kid with an airsoft or a gangbanger with a Hi-Point.  Don’t do something stupid, don’t carry your airsoft tucked into your belt, and if confronted by an officer, comply instantly.


  1. We forget that police officers have the same right of self-defense as the rest of us. If I fear for my life, even if it is found that there was no threat after the fact, I have the right to use force.The law, at least in KY, recognizes someone else’s stupidity does not trump my right to self-defense.
    Good advice, Ahab.

  2. They should all be clear plastic or training blue.

    I’m fine with that idea! When I was a kid I didn’t care too much about the color of my toy guns. Black was better but we knew not to point them at cops or anyone not involved in whatever game we were playing.

  3. When I got my 10-year old son a CO2 pistol that looked exactly like a Sig except for the tiny BB sized hole in the barrel, I spray painted the front end bright red for that very reason.

    I also drilled and drilled it into him long before that that any weapon or weapon replica, even a toy gun, is NEVER to be pointed at anyone. This issue arose when he was about 4 years old and I made him a miniature bow from a twig and some twine. He would shoot Lincoln Logs across the room with it. One day a neighbor lady came over to visit. She was saying hello to him, bending over about 2 feet from his face, and he was showing her his new “toy,” when she uttered the magic words, “I bet you can’t shoot me with that!” One very well split lip later, all she could say was, “Well, I certainly asked for that…”

    Good times, good times.

  4. I agree, but want to add that some blame should places on the parents, who have not taught their kids good,safe, or responsible gun habits. This is why I strongely believe in gun safety in schools.

  5. I agree 100%. My kids won’t be getting any of these too-realistic-looking toys.

    On the other hand, complaints that real guns can’t be green are stupid.

  6. I left the comment on the site linked, that there’s nothing to prevent someone from painting the muzzle of their Glock (for example) orange to make folks think that “it’s only an airsoft”…

    Good camouflage if you’re looking to kill someone, make them think it’s an airsoft until they get shot.

  7. My son is an officer with a major metropolitan department. They are having literally dozens of incidents a day with airsoft guns. So far they have always made the right choice, but it’s inevitable that some teen wannabe gangbanger is going to get shot pulling one out of his belt. When the situation gets hurried and an officer feels threatened to the point that the finger goes into the triggerguard on the Glock it’s luck as much as judgment that he feels he can stop.

    I have no answers, I’m just saying don’t get bent out of shape when the inevitable happens.

  8. Most states require airsoft look-alikes be sold to only those children over the age of 13. The vast majority of airsoft gun games are held under adult supervision. I know of no… kid-gets-killed-by-cops epidemic…but do understand that the maybes and could-be’s and perhaps’s take center stage nowadays. It is not politically correct to say that police aren’t concerned about little neighborhood Johnny playing bang-bang with some friends, but the fact that in certain neighborhoods it is a scary thing. So be it. What was never a problem suddenly is. And on the other hand, how many children shoot at police with real guns…

    Flame on. It’s the pc thing ta do nowadays.

  9. I play airsoft here in the SF Bay Area and I agree that care needs to be taken. The stores that I visit all have a policy that all guns coming and going are in the proper box or a proper gun bag. When at the field, all players are required to drop all gear before leaving for lunch and to go home. We have law enforcement officers who play and train (being the bad guy in a training simulation can really suck sometimes) with our organization, so we keep a close eye on people’s attitudes towards the public image of the sport. While we do remove the orange tips, we always treat it as a real firearm.

  10. Waterguns were the toy weapon of choice when I was a kid. Semi-realistic looking, but also small enough to fit our smaller hands. I had a bright orange Berretta toy that was molded to look like the real thing, but it’s obviously very scaled down next to my very real Taurus PT92. I knew better than to point any toy gun or BB-gun or whatever at anyone, least of all a cop. Then again, my dad taught me firearms safety at a tender age on my grandmother’s farm way back when.

    Incidentally, I got into shooting handguns larger than .22 LR rather late into my adult life because to me I was just intimidated how BIG “real” handguns seemed to me, since all I ever carried were toys or BB guns or my Ruger Mk II. I’ve gotten over that fear and now regularly shoot at the range with 9mm, .40S&W and .45 acp handguns. I’ve even shot up to .357 magnums, which are ok out of my Uberti cattleman’s SA or my Ruger GP100, but I really hate them out of my snubby Taurus 651…hard to control and hurts like hell.

    I still haven’t worked my way up to trying a .44 magnum anytime soon, and I’ll probably pass on .454 Casull or a .500 A&E. I think I would like to get a long barreld SA Ruger Blackhawk in .44 mag one day, but I’m in no hurry.

    I agree, that colored-tip thing is no guarantee of safety for LEOs, and as young as some criminals are in some places…AirSoft are not TOYS, they’re training TOOLS, just like a BB gun is not a toy.

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