EPD worried about fake guns as Christmas presents

EPD worried about fake guns as Christmas presents

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Evansville Police say they are seeing more and more replica guns, made to look like the real thing.

Police want parents to know if the gun looks real, and if you child is waving it around, they are starting a chain of events which could end in tragedy.

Just over the weekend, EPD called to a report of a man walking around an Evansville neighborhood with a gun.

Turned out it was just an air soft rifle.

But those around him obviously thought it was real enough to call 911.

Police also say criminals are outfitting real guns with orange tips and colorful paint to make them look fake.

EPD still uses a gun recovered in a 2012 vehicle pursuit as a training tool for their officers.

The gun is a real Tech 9 mm, outfitted with an orange tip to make it look fake.

Jason Cullum with EPD says these fake guns are setting officers up to fail.

" Did you see the whole gun? Did you see the orange tip?  It doesn't matter.  As we can see here, even if you see an orange tip it can be a threat against you.  This gun shoots real bullets and it's been altered to add confusion.  I do not want to be a victim of that confusion," adds Cullum.

He went on to say, " What happened in Cleveland where a young boy was shot by police was a tragedy.  It's a tragedy when a young child loses their life.  But that young man was waving a gun around in a manner police deemed threatening, and we don't want to see tragedies like that here in Evansville."

So parents if you purchase your child a replica gun for Christmas, it is crucial you talk to your kids.

Make them aware of what can happen if they wave that replica gun in public.

It is EPD policy that if the gun looks real and the public perceives it as a threat, they will treat it is a real gun.

Unfortunately, those circumstances can end tragically.

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