Fake guns can look incredibly real – from BB guns to airsoft guns and even plastic children’s guns. And police in Texas are reporting now that more and more gun-related crimes are being committed with fake guns. These guns are cheaper and easier to obtain than real guns. Additionally, some people might be under the mistaken assumption that being caught with a fake gun will result in lesser penalties than a real one.
Sometimes, that is true. But in Texas, if the victim of a gun-related crime believes that the weapon is real, that is still a first-degree felony, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Arlington police reported this year that they’ve seen gang members in several instances in possession of imitation guns. Five different armed robberies that the police responded to involved imitation weapons. And in a recent case, a teenager was caught after robbing a store using a fake gun. These incidents have been increasing not just in Dallas, but throughout Texas.
Assault or Aggravated Assault? Is a Fake Gun a “Deadly Weapon?”
Under the Texas penal code, defendants may be guilty of aggravated assault if they use or exhibit a deadly weapon for the purposes of threatening another with immediate bodily injury. A “deadly weapon” is anything that in the manner or its use or intended use can cause death or serious injury.
There have been several cases in the past that have resulted in aggravated assault convictions for imitation weapons. As such, you should know that even fake guns can lead to real charges.