Legislators in Michigan have proposed laws that would criminalize the alteration of toy weapons and the use of toy weapons in a crime. While their proposal could reduce the likelihood of a cop mistaking a toy for a real weapon, it could also push would-be toy users to purchase the real thing.
Currently, realistic looking toy firearms are sold with an orange tip, making them immediately recognizable as a toy by both law enforcement and anyone else who sees them. But, lawmakers say that criminals are removing the orange tips and putting everyone at risk.
Toy guns are cheaper and much easier to get than the real thing. And if a criminal’s purpose is to merely frighten someone into handing over their money, for instance, a toy would do the job efficiently. But, when encountered by police in this criminal situation, the cops with the real guns have no way of knowing they are dealing with a toy, sometimes until it is too late.
The proposed legislation would make it a crime to own an altered toy gun or to own a real gun that was altered to make it appear to be a toy. They are also proposing new criminal laws for people who have used toy guns in the commission of a crime.
Some are laughing at these new proposed laws, believing that they just might push someone to use a real weapon rather than a fake one. After all, if the laws pass, you could face more time for using a toy weapon rather than a real one in an armed robbery, for example, because you would face the additional charge.
According to Fox News, the problem of toy weapons seems to be growing particularly rapidly in Southeast Michigan and is becoming more popular among gang members. It doesn’t seem to be a problem, however, in the city of Detroit and its centralized problem-area could make it a hard sell to legislators.
Gun laws are already fairly strict in the state of Michigan, and this would only add to the lineup of potential weapons charges you can face.
Carrying a concealed weapon is one of the most commonly seen gun offenses in the state. It is considered a felony charge and can carry up to 5 years in prison. Other weapons charges are misdemeanors, which carry up to one year in jail.
If these proposed toy-gun laws pass as written, it would make using a toy gun in the commission of a crime a misdemeanor charge. But, if it’s used in the commission of a felony, the additional charge would be a felony.