Swell of replica weapons worries Eastern Iowa law enforcement - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Swell of replica weapons worries Eastern Iowa law enforcement

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The Jackson County Sheriff's Department is seeing a rise in replica weapons that look real.  And that worries them.

They've taken 11 weapons over the past few months.  Seven of those were replicas, but ones that look incredibly real.

It's a trend that Chief Deputy Steve Schroeder is struggling to understand.

"You know, for the life of me, I can't figure it out. Because when you're dealing with fake replicas, or an actual firearm itself, and you have a confrontation with a law enforcement officer, most likely bad things are gonna happen," he said.

Most replica weapons have an orange tip to differentiate them from real weapons.  But Schroeder says many of the ones they've seen either have that paint chipped off or are painted over to make the guns look more real.

Schroeder says seeing a weapon, whether it's real or not, changes the entire dynamic of whatever situation they may be in.

"You have to assume that it's real. You can't look at it and say, 'that is a fake firearm, and I really don't have to worry about it'. Your guard goes up, the hair on the back of your head kinda stands on edge and you really get into that focused zone," he said.

Schroeder says most of the weapons are handguns, many of which have magazines that function like magazines in real guns.  

He says most of them are CO2 guns that shoot pellets or BB's.

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