Lawmakers, police to call on paintball makers to stop sale of 'd - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers, police to call on paintball makers to stop sale of 'deadly toys'

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Paintball guns that look identical to assault rifles, according to police. (New Haven police photo) Paintball guns that look identical to assault rifles, according to police. (New Haven police photo)
NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -

Paintball gun manufacturers are in the crosshairs of lawmakers and police.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and law enforcement officers said they'll be gathering in New Haven Monday to urge paintball gun makers to stop the sale of guns that look identical to genuine assault rifles.

"These paintball guns, virtually identical to genuine assault rifles, are tragedies waiting to happen," Blumenthal said. "Federal law rightly requires clear markings on toy and facsimile firearms, but inexplicably exempts paintball guns."

Blumenthal said the law requires orange markings to be placed on toy and facsimile firearms.

In New Haven specifically, he said people carrying paintball guns resembling AK-47s have resulted in panicked 911 calls.

Police said they've warned about the potential for deadly confusion should a responding officer confuse a paintball gun with a real automatic rifle.

"This law must be updated and strengthened, and I will be consulting law enforcement and safety experts as to specific steps," Blumenthal said. "In the meantime, paintball manufacturers should cease sale of these rifles until they develop clear markings along with shape and style changes to reduce the risk of mistaking these toys for the real thing."

Blumenthal's news conference is set for the front steps of the New Haven Police Department at 11 a.m.

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