BOSTON — A Boston city councilor wants to outlaw the kind of realistic-looking replica guns an outlaw was wielding last week in a near-fatal confrontation with a cop.
Councilor John Tobin is calling for a public hearing to consider measures such as a ban on sales of the replica guns in Boston and stiffer fines on those who break the existing law against brandishing pellet guns in public.
He acknowledged that the kind of person who would point a fake gun at the cops might not care about increased penalties.
“I realize you can't always legislate good sense, but if this prevents more confrontations like this, it will be worth it,'' Tobin said.
Cops shot Shawn Craig, 23, in the shoulder when he pointed a black replica handgun at officers who were chasing him on Boston Common Thursday. He was wanted on a warrant and ran when cops challenged him, police said.
“It's one thing if these guys are putting their own lives in danger, but people were playing Frisbee and eating. Someone could have gotten hurt,'' Tobin said about the shootout.
Some cities already are looking at banning fake guns, including New York and Dallas, Tobin said. The ban would not include obviously fake toy guns or water pistols, only those that could be mistaken for a real gun, Tobin said. The Boston Police Department appreciates the gesture and will work with Tobin to determine the best course of legislation, said BPD spokeswoman Elaine Driscoll.