Background

The term “imitation firearms” generally refer to non-firing replicas, many of which are so realistic looking that they cannot be immediately distinguished from real firearms. Imitation firearms are most commonly used by the entertainment industry and by the military/police for training purposes.

“Toy guns” is a more generic term that can include imitation firearms, but usually encompasses a wide range of less detailed non-firing replicas or gun-like toys (including cap pistols and water guns) that are marketed to children.

Some states limit the sale or manufacture of imitation firearms, or require that toy guns be made in bright or neon colors to differentiate them from real firearms.

See the Non-Powder Guns Policy Summary for further information.