Beaverton adopts states first replica gun ban

Police plan outreach campaign before they start writing tickets

BEAVERTON - It's official: Airsoft guns and other realistic looking toy firearms are prohibited in Beaverton's public places.

The City Council passed a new ordinance Monday night regulating the use and possession of replica firearms in public.

It goes into effect March 31 following a public outreach effort by the Beaverton Police Department, Beaverton School District and city to educate students and families about the new rules.

'In passing this ordinance we are being proactive and taking a step in the right direction before a tragedy happens,' said Beaverton Police Chief David Bishop. 'We're hoping it will deter some people from displaying these guns in public and causing alarm.'

In the next month, Officers Andrew Halbert and Mike Hanada will launch an education campaign and distribute brochures about the ordinance to community partners.

The approved ordinance regulates possession of replica firearms in public places including highways, streets, schools, places of amusement, parks, playgrounds, public transportation centers and common areas of apartments and hotels.

Under the ordinance, a replica firearm is any toy or imitation that substantially duplicates a lethal firearm or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm.

The rules would not apply to brightly colored toy guns or those constructed of transparent or translucent materials.

It also does not restrict the use of replica guns on private property, including backyards.

Anyone violating the ordinance could get a citation.

Beaverton is the first Oregon city to adopt a replica gun ban for public places.