Saturday, June 15, 2024

‘Too real’ replica weapons seized from toy market in Celaya

Authorities have confiscated toy guns on sale at a market in Celaya, Guanajuato, because of their close similarity to the real thing.

Municipal authorities seized the replica weapons from a tianguis, or market, set up in the city for Three Kings’ Day (Día de los Reyes Magos), on which Mexican children traditionally receive gifts.

The Celaya security department said that the products confiscated “don’t comply with the official standard for the manufacture of war toys.”

“In other words, they look real,” the department said.

According to the Mexican standard NOM-161-SCFI-2003, replica weapons must be made out of transparent or fluorescent plastic. To avoid being mistaken for the real thing, a toy gun can’t be silver, grey or black, or a combination of those colors.

Local official Salvador Martínez Abud said that many of the toy weapons on sale at the Three Kings’ Day market complied with regulations, but three models didn’t because they’re “completely identical” to real guns.

Replica AK-47s that shoot hydrogel bullets were among the toy guns seized.

Martínez said that municipal authorities in Celaya – one of Mexico’s most violent cities – “categorically condemn” the manufacture and sale of “these kinds of toys.”

“We’re not in the ’80s when perhaps children in their innocence played cops and robbers. … We have to take a lot of care in managing the issue of arms,” he said, adding that children could get the wrong idea about “what a game is” were they to play with the authentic-looking – and reportedly popular – toy guns.

On the X social media platform, the Celaya security department posted a “letter” to the Reyes Magos (Wise Men or Three Kings) asking them not to bring replica weapons as gifts.

“To the beloved Reyes Magos, let’s promote the use of traditional and playful toys as well as reading in order to encourage the prevention of crime and violence, and appreciation of the values of family and social coexistence,” the letter said.

With reports from El Financiero and AM

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