Imagine BB guns looking similar to water pistols. Under the new proposal that L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck is pushing, he says it could make a big difference in preventing in officer-involved shootings.
Beck says he wants to prevent incidents such as the one in Dec. 2011 in Glassell Park. A 13-year-old boy refused to drop his gun. Officers opened fire, not realizing that the boy was holding a pellet gun. The teen was critically injured and required surgery, but survived.
Right now federal law requires toy guns have a large orange marking around the circumference of the barrel.
But officers say that the markers can be virtually impossible to see from far away, and the guns can look identical to the real thing.
Beck wants to require BB or pellet guns to be colored- such as white, red, green, blue, or even pink. Under the proposal, the guns could also be made with transparent or translucent material.
However businesses, like paintball companies, aren't happy about the proposal.
"By guns being painted a bright color, it would affect sales completely," said Junior Sutitanon from Hollywood Paintball. "It would probably make everyone in the paintball industry lose their jobs because nobody would want to play it anymore."
Beck is also working with lawmakers in Sacramento on similar legislation for California.