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"Toy Gun" Measure Fails in Burlington

The Burlington City Council has voted down a proposal that would have required the use of carrying cases to transport realistic-looking guns in public.

The measure drew a huge outcry from people, including many non-residents, who thought it could ban toy or replica guns altogether.

City Manager Jim Ferneau said city staff heard from many of them.

“A lot of them were very respectful and kind and were asking questions, expressing their thoughts that this was not the appropriate thing to do," Ferneau said.  "Some of them (though) did not do it in such a kind or respectful manner.  I think that gets a little trying on city council members and staff, who had to field a lot of those phone calls.”

One city hall employee said it was about 48-hours after the 4-1 vote by the city council before the calls started to wane.

Aldermen said the language was too vague, even though they approved an initial reading of the same language just two weeks earlier.

Burlington Police Chief Doug Beaird said he is concerned about officers or a resident with a concealed carry permit not being able to tell if a gun is real or fake.

He said his officers respond to about two calls each month where a fake gun is mistaken for a real gun, s0 the situation is a disaster waiting to happen.

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.