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Law enforcement takes aim at toy guns

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BATON ROUGE - Toy guns will not be collected for some local toy drives since they look too much like the real thing.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office and the Constable's Office will hand out nearly 3,000 toys to kids this Christmas. Constable Reginald Brown says none of them will be any sort of weapon like guns, knives or bows and arrows.

"Weapons shouldn't be something that we should distribute, because it may serve as an encouragement. For a number of reasons it could cause problems," said Brown.

A 12-year-old carrying a toy gun was recently killed by police officer in Cleveland. Police officers feel some toy guns look too similar to real guns. Sheriff Sid Gautreaux plans to sponsor a bill next legislative session aimed at making toy guns look more like toys.

"At just a glance you can't distinguish between the two, and when law enforcement or the public is confronted with a situation like that it's usually in low-light situations. It's even harder to distinguish whether it's a real or toy gun," said Gautreaux. "Make them all blue like I said, or make them all green. But make them a color that's readily distinguishable that's not a real gun, it's a toy gun."

Brown says parents should take action in light of recent deaths involving toy guns.

"Take the time to educate your child before you give them a weapon as a toy," he said. "Because a weapon as a toy can be a destruction to them, the end of their life or even it can ruin other people's lives."

For more information on the Christmas Crusade for Children program click here.

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