Police warn parents about guns resembling toys

Posted at 5:50 PM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 22:22:29-04

Tampa Police, along with More Health, a local safety and health organization, are going into several bay area school districts to educate kids about firearm safety and how to spot the difference between real and fake guns.

Tampa Police and More Health Instructors brought a locked case of disassembled, safe firearms to the one school to show kids what they can look like. They also provided pictures of several firearms confiscated by police that could be mistaken for fakes.

One of the pictures showed a gun that fits in the palm of your hand. Another picture showed blue and pink firearms. Other photos showed a real firearm hidden inside a Nerf gun and another photo showed an assault rifle with Hello Kitty stamped on it.

It was hard for kids to tell what was real.

"I thought the Hello Kitty one was kind of hard to tell because a little kid would think it was just a picture on a fake gun," said one student.

More Health Instructor Emily Carson taught kids to treat every firearm as though it is real and loaded.

"You see a gun under the bushes, but you think it may be a toy gun, what should you do?" Carson asked the kids.

"Halt, Hands off, Get out, Get Help," the students shouted back.

"Guns can come in different colors, shapes and sizes," said Carson. "So we show them the very small gun that fits in the palm of their hand and one that's blue."

Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward says a shopping trip is a good opportunity to teach your children about dealing with firearms that look like toys.

"You take them down that aisle and show them those firearms that look similar to real firearms and say look, in the store, it's a toy, but on the street, you don't have that opportunity to figure out whether it is real or not," Ward said.

Ward and Carson now hope these kids have learned what they need to save their lives.