AUSTIN, Texas - Austin ISD Police recently recovered a BB gun from a juvenile that looked eerily similar to that of a real pistol and are now using that experience to remind people that in high stakes situations, this could pose a real danger.
Some BB guns look real, feel real, and even sound real. However, these are not actual guns.
"BB guns, pellet guns that are on the market now are looking more and more realistic," said Lt. Travis Pickford with the Austin ISD Police Department.
Austin ISD Police shared a photo on Twitter of a confiscated BB gun to show how realistic it can look compared to a 9mm pistol.
"Things are so dangerous. They look real, they feel real, they function like a real firearm, and in a high stress situation, a police officer or armed citizen could easily believe it to be a real firearm. Using this type of BB gun in a crime could be a FELONY," AISD Police said in the post. "Parents PLEASE don’t buy these for your kids. If you do, ensure they used safely and secured like a real firearm. The last thing anybody wants is a horrible tragedy that happens over what some people consider a TOY!"
Lt. Pickford says AISD police has multiple realistic BB guns the department has confiscated over the years from students or individuals on campus.
He says officers don't usually have the luxury to analyze each gun to make sure it is a BB gun in high stress situations, so they treat every case as if it was a real gun. That's why the Austin ISD Police department wants to remind parents that this is not a toy your kid should be having.
"[Officers] have to use the information that they have at face value and, unfortunately, when you're looking at some of these items at face value, just in the split second that they have to make a very real decision and tragedies are possible," he said.
If used in a crime, BB guns could still land the user a felony.
"Just because the carrier knows it's a real BB gun, the person who is getting pointed at may not and if they believe it to be a real firearm, the same consequences the same criminal offenses could be applied as if it were a real gun," said Lt. Pickford.