People with replica firearms lead to multiple 911 calls in Washi - KPTV - FOX 12

People with replica firearms lead to multiple 911 calls in Washington County

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Evidence photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office Evidence photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office
Evidence photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office Evidence photo: Washington County Sheriff's Office
WASHINGTON COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

In the span of four days, Washington County Sheriff's Office deputies responded to three 911 calls from witnesses reporting a person shooting or threatening to shoot a gun at people.

In the three separate incidents, the suspects were carrying "very realistic" replica guns that shot pellets or BBs, according to deputies.

Deputies said it was only after close examination that they were able to determine the guns were replicas.

"Sheriff's deputies are often forced into making split-second decisions about whether a gun is real. In a rapidly developing situation, a realistic looking replica gun can easily be identified as a real gun, with potentially tragic results," according to a sheriff's office statement.

Deputies said they are also concerned about members of the public mistaking a replica gun for a real gun and attempting to resolve the situation themselves.

Investigators said deaths, injuries and close calls involving replica guns are becoming more common across the country, often involving someone using a replica gun to commit a crime.

Since 1989, federal law has required that replica guns be manufactured with a bright orange plug at the end of a non-shooting barrel or a body that's brightly colored.

Airsoft guns are required to have an orange collar on the muzzle, as well as transparent or neon-colored bodies.

Pellet and BB guns do not fall into this category, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies said they have often found replica guns altered to remove the orange markings.

"Deputies caution the public to be wary of the possible repercussions of carrying or handling replica guns in public and ask parents not to allow their children to use these realistic looking guns," according to a sheriff's office statement.

The incidents this week in Washington County led to two arrests. 

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