Check out this article on Journalstar.com regarding an altercation that occurred between an police and a man with an airsoft gun.
In the scenario listed in the article, a suspicious man was approached by a police officer. The man reportedly announced and attempted to reach for a gun. The officer was able to disarm the man, and fought with the officer for five minutes before a second officer was able to come. The two officers were able to make an arrest on the man.
Further inspection of the gun was disarmed from the man turned out to be a Walther PPK airsoft gun. Naturally, the required orange tip was non existent. The officer reported that the pistol looked and felt very real and he was very worried that if he had lost the fight, he may have had to face the deadly weapon.
While this situation resulted in no injuries or fatalities, a major concern for Lincoln Police Chief Jim Peschong is that using or brandishing an airsoft gun can escalate a situation into use of deadly force.
What is the lesson we learn here as airsoft players?
Use your airsoft guns responsibly, and do not brandish them at ANYONE. By doing so, whatever tense situation is at hand will only be made far worse by the introduction of an airsoft gun. In a high stress situation, your airsoft gun will be mistaken for a real firearm, and the response from the public, and the police, will be appropriate for a firearm.
It is up to US to show the public that we can be responsible individuals. Please exercise all gun safety rules, and treat your airsoft gun like a real firearm.