Zakia Mahasa is a master in the city's juvenile court. On Tuesday, she held up a toy gun she said a deputy sheriff from her court took from two young boys in a west Baltimore neighborhood.
"The boy pulled out a pistol, pointed it at another boy, and the other boy started running. So, of course, he says his heart went in his mouth because it looked like a gun," Mahasa said.
The gun is plastic and fake, but Mahasa said when placed side-by-side with a real pistol, it is hard to tell the difference. She said the neighborhood where the boys were playing with it has been riddled with gun violence.
From behind Plexiglas, the store operator showed 11 News the silver-barreled toy guns he had on the shelf that day and described the children who bought the guns as 5 and 6 years old.
The store keeper said he saw nothing wrong. They are just toys, he said. But residents see it differently.
"Because there is so much gun violence, I abhor the situation. Water guns, any guns, I'm serious," one resident said.
Given that Maryland is also the state where a 6-year-old boy was suspended for pointing his finger like a gun, and a 7-year-old boy was suspended for chewing his pop tart into the shape of a gun, I guess this should come as no surprise.