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Fatal Police Shooting In Cincinnati Renews Fake Gun Ban Debate

Airsoft gun
Santeri Viinamäki / Wikimedia Commons
Airsoft gun

The fatal police shooting of a man in Cincinnati is adding fuel to the debate over imitation firearms. 

Lawmakers in the Ohio House want to ban imitation firearms which can look exactly like a regular, deadly weapon.

A video from February 17 showed Cincinnati police ask a man to put his hands in the air, then opened fire when he reached for what ended up being an air soft gun.

Democratic Representative Alicia Reece of Cincinnati proposed a "lookalikes" ban after the 2014 shootings of Tamir Rice in Cleveland and John Crawford in Beavercreek.

She says it will protect law enforcement, improve their relationship with the community and hurt only the manufacturers.

“They look real, let’s be real. Manufacturers are making money because they look real,” said Reece.

Two bills to ban imitation firearms have each only received one hearing so far.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.