SACRAMENTO — Legislation aimed at ridding California of toy guns that look like the real thing and imposing a three-month jail term for brandishing a replica firearm cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The author, Senate President Pro Tem David A. Roberti (D-Los Angeles), said California would become a safer place if the state eliminated toy guns that often so closely resemble real firearms that police officers cannot distinguish the difference.
He noted that in recent months two San Francisco children with look-alike toy guns have been shot by police who feared for their lives. The bill was inspired by Los Angeles television personality David Horowitz, who was held hostage on the air by a man brandishing a replica pistol.
But Sen. H. L. Richardson (R-Glendora), always one of the Legislature's most outspoken opponents of gun control proposals, denounced the measure as a "slick attack on the concept of gun ownership." He protested that the measure sought to deny toy guns to children who might later want to be trained in the proper use of real guns.