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Half Fail NJ Prosecutor's Fake-Or-Real-Gun Test

Which is the real one? Under most lighting conditions, this is what police see. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Ocean County Prosecutor
The results. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Ocean County Prosecutor's Office

Half of the people who took a quiz posted by a New Jersey prosecutor couldn't tell the difference between a real gun and a fake one.

The correct choice: #6 ( see results above ).

The danger of police-involved shootings involving suspects carrying fake guns prompted Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato to issue the challenge Friday.

The scenario: "You’re a police officer on patrol by yourself. It’s just after midnight when you receive a call of a suspicious individual in poorly lit local park," Al Della Fave of Coronato's office said.

"You arrive, approach the individual and he pulls out a handgun looking like one of the eight handguns [above]," Della Fave said. "Only one of the eight is real.

"Seven are pellet guns which present no real danger to you. Which one of the eight numbered handguns is the real weapon?"

The majority of those who made the right choice said they made their choice based on the clip (magazine) that they could see at the bottom of the gun grip.

Which raised the question: Do you really think this would be visible within seconds in the dark of night with a hand wrapped around the grip?

"This predicament presents itself to officers at least once in their careers," Della Fave said.

"For those who propose shooting extremities or warning shots, this is not an option," he added. "The NJ Attorney General's guidelines on the use of force forbid it.

"Besides, gunshot wounds of any kind can easily bring death, whether it's a gunshot wound to the leg striking a major artery, which can easily cause a subject to quickly bleed out, or a bullet ricocheting off bone traveling thru the body striking major organs.

"The sad reality today for those in law enforcement is simply this: 'The only way to be 100% sure is to commit to taking a shot before returning fire'," Della Fave said.

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