Columbus passes law banning public BB guns

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There's a new law that's the first of its kind in Indiana and makes several toy guns illegal for children to carry in public.

They may look like real guns, but they're not.

That won't matter, say Columbus police, if officers have just seconds to decide whether or not to shoot when faced with a person carrying a BB, pellet or air gun that looks like the real thing.

"It's puts them in a bad position when they're faced with one of these toys that looks real," said Columbus Police Chief Jason Maddox.

In the past several months, that's just what's happened. People have been calling 911, reporting someone with a gun, but it turned out to be a toy that looked like a real gun.

"There's been sometimes where we've had to make some tactical-type deployments when it turned out just to be a toy," explained Chief Maddox.

That's why Columbus police pushed to get a law passed banning anyone under 18 from carrying one of the realistic-looking guns in public.

"Before something terrible happens that everyone's going to regret, I'm just really pleased to see them be proactive," said Columbus grandmother Judy Harpenau.

Columbus City Council passed the law unanimously Tuesday night.

"It's just a bad deal. It's a dangerous situation," said Chief Maddox as he explained the law to some Boy Scouts at the meeting.

"They do look realistic, especially when they paint the orange tips on them. I think they do look very realistic, so I think not having them in the city is a good thing," said teenager Daniel Wilson.

The law takes effect immediately. If ignored, it could cost you $150.

The law was first proposed at a hearing last month.