Corporal Wes Ross of the Lufkin Police Department said, "oh from a distance. If you popped that little cap off the end of it, it looks real. Especially from a distance."
Corporal Ross should know. He's had a close call involving a kid with what looked like a real gun.
Corporal Ross said, "couple years back with a pellet gun looked just like a real gun. He held it to his side like this thank goodness. If he ever raised it I wouldn't have asked any questions."
Although some toy guns have plastic caps on the end to show the difference, removing the caps is easy.
Leaving the toy aisle behind, the similarities between air pistols and the real thing are just scary. Even a local gun dealer we spoke with says it's hard to tell the difference unless you take a close look.
Bill Pate, owner of Bill's Gun Trader, said, "you can't tell the difference unless you're close enough...you know if you didn't know any better you'd probably think this one was a toy rather than this one."
As hard as it is for an adult to see the difference, it can be even harder for children.
Corporal Ross said, "if he'd been playing with this all day and then he come home and dad had just come in from deer hunting and had his shotgun stuck in the corner. It'd be hard for a child to determine the difference."