Replicas of military-style weapons seized in Avondale
Avondale police seized more than 25 replicas of military-style weapons and want the public to be aware of the dangers the weapons pose, authorities said.
All of the weapons, which were seized during a traffic stop that was part of an undercover operation, either are fake or air-soft weapons that fire plastic pellet, Avondale police spokesman Reuben Gonzales said. They appear so realistic in size, weight and other physical characteristics that "they could fool even the most savvy gun enthusiast."
"You cannot tell the difference," he said. "You touch them, you feel them, you pick them up and they look and feel like a real gun, but they're not."
The types of guns seized include:
- MP-5 subcompact machine gun.
- Mac-10 with suppressor.
- UZI machine gun.
- 37 millimeter grenade launcher.
- Claymore mine.
- AK-47 rifle.
The replica weapons, which are not illegal, are being used in home invasions, armed robberies and other crimes, Gonzales said.
Police want people to be aware that the guns are out there and pose a threat to the public and police officers that could cost lives, he said.
"We make split-second decisions out there every day and if someone were to produce this type of a weapon - a citizen, a bad guy, whatever - an officer's not going to be able to know the difference and they're going to act accordingly based on what they see and the perceived threat," Gonzales said.
"If somebody did a home invasion on your home carrying these types of weapons, you would not be able to know the difference," he added.