By Aren LeBrun
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has signed an ordinance banning replica handguns in public spaces throughout the city. Officials believe the measure will save lives since residents and even police officers find it difficult to differentiate a real firearm from a toy gun.
The ordinance, signed Monday, Nov. 9, takes effect immediately and is an attempt to raise awareness of the dangers that replica handguns have on Boston’s youth.
“A lot of these young kids are out there going to school, having these replica guns taken off them,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said in an interview with Homicide Watch last week. “We’re not about locking kids up here, it’s more of an educational piece.”
One factor that is important to note is that imitation firearms are not simply used as toys. To date, the Boson Police Department has confiscated more than 150 of these replica firearms in connection with crimes.
“We’re seeing more and more robberies with them.” Evans said. “The whole idea is, for everybody’s safety, to get these guns off the street.”
Mayor Walsh, whose office expresses an adamant devotion to ”providing safe and secure neighborhoods where every resident can thrive,” echoed Commissioner Evans’ sentiments after signing the ordinance on Monday.
“The safety of Boston’s residents and visitors is a top priority, and I am proud to sign this ordinance banning replica handguns in public spaces,” he said. “(This ordinance) will help us in our larger mission of raising community awareness and engagement to remove replica firearms from the hands of our youth.”