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Minneapolis to Restrict Fake Guns

The Star Tribune reports that Friday morning, the Minneapolis City Council voted to restrict the carrying of nonlethal guns.

The 13-0 vote was influenced by the trend in which more crimes are being committed using replica firearms. It also becomes a concern for officers who have to make split-second decisions. They don't don't want to use lethal force against someone who simply has a fake gun.

According to the Pioneer Press The new ordinance bars people from carrying the fake guns in a public place, and requires they be transported the same way as real firearms - in a closed container locked in the trunk of a vehicle. However brightly colored toy guns will not be affected.

Police said they confiscated 294 such guns last year, with another 129 collected in the first half of this year. Many were BB guns, which already face some state restrictions. But others were replicas used in assaults, threats, burglaries, car thefts -- even kidnapping. The price of replicas ranges from under $20 to more than $200. (Star Tribune)

"The lines between real violence and fake violence are being blurred, not just on our TV screens, but in the streets of our city," said Don Samuels, the council member who introduced the restrictions. In the most recent case, a Minneapolis police officer shot and killed a 15-year-old youth armed with a pellet gun that resembled a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun. (Pioneer Press)