SANTA ROSA (KCBS) — One month after a Santa Rosa teenager carrying a toy gun was fatally shot by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy; state lawmakers are proposing new rules for imitation weapons.
A deputy killed 13-year-old Andy Lopez near his home on October 22nd. Authorities said the deputy mistook Lopez’s toy gun for an AK-47.
State Sen. Kevin De Leon and State Sen. Noreen Evans are reintroducing the “Imitation Firearms Safety Act,” in an effort to prevent further tragedies from happening.
“As the world and the global community prepare for Thanksgiving holiday, there will be one empty chair at the Lopez household,” De Leon said at a press briefing in Santa Rosa on Friday.
The bill would require imitation firearms, such as paintball, Airsoft and BB guns, to be painted in bright colors.
“It will better describe what an imitation firearm is and what it must look like if it’s going to be sold to our children,” said Evans, who was also at the event.
De Leon introduced a similar measure in 2011, but the proposal failed.
“What occurred here not too long ago on October 22nd was a watershed moment, not just for Sonoma County, but this is something that resonated throughout the state of California; throughout the entire nation,” he said.
De Leon said he is expecting stiff opposition from the gun lobby and toy manufacturers.
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