Replica firearms sent to the chopping block by police officials

Law enforcement officials routinely chop up firearms that have been used in crimes or confiscated from persons without permission to carry them.

But Sunday the Dirección General de Armamento of the security ministry chopped up replicas that had been used in crimes. There so-called toy guns are nearly identical to the originals in some cases.

In fact, security ministry officials said that replica firearms are used in three of every 10 robberies.

There were 487 replica weapons on the chopping block Sunday. They had been confiscated and held until judicial officials gave the go ahead for destruction.

Government officials also oppose the use by the young of replicas of weapons, although youngsters are attracted to them.

Some of the replicas that were destroyed were models of rifles and even AK-47s, officials said. Armory workers used a chop saw to effect the destruction.

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