Police Called to Home After Classmate Spots a Toy Gun on Zoom

A parent was “uncomfortable” seeing the toy gun on the Zoom call. (Photo: Marco Verch, Creative Commons 2.0).

A husband and wife in Pennsylvania were harassed by police earlier this month after someone at their son’s school spotted a toy gun during a school-related Zoom call.

Sheila Perez Smith recounted the incident on the Todd Starnes Radio Show. She said that her 7-year-old son had just completed a Zoom class when she received an email from the son’s teacher. Apparently, another parent had spied the toy in the background and had called the police.

“Another parent had been very uncomfortable by the fact that the gun had been in view of the zoom call,” Smith told Starnes. “It’s such an innocent thing that someone used to make a judgment and an accusation.”

A few hours later, police knocked on her door and asked Smith and her husband to step outside.

When Smith’s husband explained that they didn’t own a real firearm but that their son had been given a toy, the police weren’t satisfied. According to Smith, they lectured the couple and told them that young kids shouldn’t even own toy firearms.

“I said, this is a toy. No one is unsafe in our home. Everyone is safe and well and healthy,” Smith said. “They took it very seriously as if there was some sort of chance we had weapons in the home.”

“He essentially lectured us on child safety and the fact that our children are too young to interact with any guns and weapons,” she said.

SEE ALSO: Washington Post Gives Cory Booker Three Pinocchio’s for Saying Toy Guns Face More Regs than Real Guns

Smith told Starnes that even though they weren’t cited, the incident left their children terrified.

“They were scared their parents were going to go to jail that day for something that was completely untrue,” she said.

“What really troubled me was the fact that someone made a claim, an accusation with zero facts,” she continued. “It was completely bogus, and it left our kids really scared.”

This isn’t the first time busybody do-gooders have gone after toy “firearms.”

In 2018, Hempstead, Long Island, held a toy gun buyback for local school children in which they could exchange their toy guns for different kinds of toys.

“Saying no to guns is important – even toy guns,” said Hempstead Village Mayor Don Ryan as reported by WABC.

SEE ALSO: Boston Bans Guns… Toy Guns, That is

“The purpose is to offer safe alternatives to toy guns. We don’t want the kids playing with guns. Guns are dangerous,” added Hempstead Village Trustee LaMont Johnson.

As GunsAmerica news editor S.H. Blannelberry pointed out at the time, events like this instill an “irrational fear of firearms.” The same could probably be said of the police visit to the Smith home.

“How about instead of indoctrinating kids to have an irrational fear of firearms, including toys that resemble firearms, we teach them actual gun safety?” Blannelberry recommended. “And when each child is ready, we teach him or her the tenets of responsible gun ownership?  Education, not fear, is the answer.”

GunsAmerica reached out to Smith for a description of the offending toy firearm but has not received a response.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 55 comments… add one }
  • Justin B September 1, 2020, 12:28 am

    This happened to my family today. I got a call from the police that the school called them to report my son had a gun. They asked if there were any firearms in the house. After I assured them there were none my son could have in his possession they admitted it had an orange barrel and was likely a toy. The “gun” in question is clear plastic with an orange barrel. Despite acknowledging that, they showed up to my house and made my wife and child walk out into the driveway with their hands raised. The police admitted there was no crime committed. Unsatisfied, the school suspended him anyhow. To be clear, he didn’t show it to anyone or threaten anybody. He was done with class and didn’t realize the camera was still on. He was playing in his room at the time. Ridiculous!

  • Pat J May 30, 2020, 5:03 pm

    Jesus H W Christ! No wonder kids are so fucked up.
    I used to carry a sweet little Model 62 to school for Rifle Club.
    I think the further kids are distanced from acquaintance and use of firearms the more they will not understand what guns are for. We knew what guns were for, what horses were for, what trucks were for, what our bodies and work was for, and the reason a boy was expected to respect girls and women.
    What a nasty little country America’s become. And it ain’t about religion.
    And by god, we had a lot better looking toy-guns than that fruity roscoe in the photo.

  • Dash May 30, 2020, 1:12 pm

    Who else would have told the officer he was on very thin ice for any kind of probable cause for a “welfare check” or otherwise, reminded him he is not a child psychologist, asked him to leave and advised he will be trespassing thereafter..

    The idiotic paranoid parent who reported this situation is the one who should get the welfare check.

  • Gunny8541 May 30, 2020, 1:02 pm

    Cops must have been webster groves pd. They’re useless like their leader. His name is dale. If he will lie to you, you, will only see the top of his head not his eyes. He’s made it public that people and cops especially, don’t need guns. He hates the Constitution. He loves the media. Skip the pio.

  • michael H Graves May 29, 2020, 11:40 pm

    Most of the comments I read were “anti-cop”. I raised both my sons to be responsible shooters and gun owners. My oldest son is in Airforce intelligence operations and my youngest is a federal LEO. My wife complains that I raised both her babies to carry guns. Please do not blame all LEO’s for the ills of the world. Most are really good people who put their lives on the line every day to make the world a better place and have families of their own to go home to. So when you get pissed at a stupid stunt by one do not blame all.

    • Bullseye May 30, 2020, 5:34 pm

      I totally agree with you!!! I would even go further and say that we do not know if the facts of this story are even true, or if they were written by the Press that is trying to make police, the 2nd amendment and all people look racist. The police are still our friends. Anybody can write anything and if we believe it on its face, then they control the news and our thinking and attitude!!!

  • Dan Clayburn May 29, 2020, 10:38 pm

    This kind of crap has went on for years. I’ve watched as the Dim’ continue to beat on us and try to restrict our freedoms. About 25 years ago my wife and I took out daughters and son to one of the city parks. No one there, just us, but as the day progressed more parents showed up with their kids. My son had begged and I relented when I saw the park was empty, to take his cork gun. You know the type toy gun you cock, place a cork in the barrel and pull the trigger, goes pop and the cork fly’s maybe 10 if there is no wind. (told him to leave the corks in the car, didn’t want to lose them.) Soon he was playing with a group of 4-5 other boys running around. After about an hour a police car pulls up. Didn’t think anything of it, didn’t even pay attention to see who he talked with. after a few minutes he walks ups and asks if the boy with the toy gun was our son. Replyed yes, what was the problem. He explained they got a complaint about a boy running around with a ‘gun’ at the play ground. About this time a second officer comes up from behind. I didn’t know he had parked a out of sight and had been walking up behind us. At any rate he asked me if I would put the gun up. I asked what law are we breaking. He said none, I responded no, I would not put it up nor leave. He responded that I was making his job harder. I responded, no, the people that called you about what was plainly a toy was doing a good job of that. I also told him that if they reported it as a real gun, he should discuss with them about a false report and the penalties for that. At this point I was making sure all heard me, and was being watched by all. The Officer said he was sorry I felt that way and I responded that if the people in the park did not like it they were free to leave as well. Red faced they both left, not saying a word. within 30 seconds a couple with a boy, one that was sitting alone, and I will note had tried to join in the fun with the rest but was stopped by his mother earlier, left. Point being we have right as well and I’ll be (&()*&)*& if I will back down anymore. We wee planning to leave within a few minutes, but after that we stayed fro another hour. No one else left. Sad to say probably today the whole thing would be reversed.

  • Russell May 29, 2020, 9:38 pm

    In my opinion the officers had no lawful reason to be there I would have asked them to leave or have their supervisor come out and have them charged with trespassing. Either way I file a complaint with their Internal affairs.

    • Bullseye May 30, 2020, 5:42 pm

      They did have a lawful reason to be their as they were dispatched on a call and now have the duty to make sure everyone is safe and no crime had been committed. I do not believe the story is 100% factual as you can easily write this story to make the police look bad. The Press is now trying to paint the police badly as they do stories about the second amendment, etc.. The facts are not reported in the news anymore. the press molds the stories to push their Leftist agenda. Make no mistake, The press is not your friend!

  • Elapid King May 29, 2020, 5:39 pm

    I find it oddly ironic that cops would dare lecture to anyone about their parenting when statistically cops are far, far more likely than any other demographic to be child abusers and pedophiles.

    • Blair Wrigley May 30, 2020, 5:25 am

      I would like to see your proof of that untrue lie. You are a misinformed person that either believes anything without looking into it or worse. I do agree that the police have no business lecturing the parents about whether they should allow their child to play with toy guns.

    • Monk916 May 30, 2020, 4:35 pm

      That is libel towards LE. It is a lie and you have absolutely no proof of your lie! I would venture to guess that oftentimes, the people that are quick to point the finger and accuse, are often the true offenders. Sounds like your family and friends should keep their young children away from you.

  • Frank S. May 29, 2020, 1:33 pm

    We don’t know what the toy gun looked like. Some of those air soft guns are VERY realistic looking and could easily be mistaken for a real gun. I might have concerns if a real Glock was on the desk a seven year old was using. It should have never went to the police though. The teacher calling and asking is understandable, to a degree. Once told it was a toy gun and no one was in danger it should have ended. I wonder if it was the school or the “concerned parent” who called the police? Probably the school. In any case, once the police arrived it should have ended with “it’s a toy gun”. Unless he was brandishing it and threatening to shoot someone when he gets back to school. THEN they would have a reason to say something to the parents. In that case the kid probably shouldn’t be playing with toy guns, but unless threats were made there shouldn’t have been a lecture on “kids shouldn’t play with guns”. *I* raise my kids, and playing with a toy gun is NOT the same as playing with a real gun! Mine were taught to know the difference…

    • DaveGinOly May 30, 2020, 1:00 am

      The police, had they any sense, could have also stopped this situation from evolving. When the call came in, the officer or dispatcher who took that call should have asked, “Was the gun real or a toy?” “Was the child playing with the gun?” “Was anyone handling the gun in an unsafe manner?”
      The answers would have been, “No” (or “I’m not sure/couldn’t tell,” or “The parents said it was a toy”), “No,” and “No.”
      The officer or dispatcher should have said, “I’m sorry ma’am, what you’ve described is neither a crime nor a police matter of any kind. Have a nice day.”
      And that should have been the end of it.
      People have been killed by cops because someone saw them “with guns” even though there was no crime being committed. Police should disregard all “complaints” involving firearms when the complainants aren’t complaining of an actual crime. In this situation, the police use the opportunity to harass and lecture people who had done nothing wrong. Is that an efficient use of police resources? I think not.

  • Richard Jorgensen May 29, 2020, 12:44 pm

    I would have been nice, but told the cops to go to hell.

  • Clint W. May 29, 2020, 12:36 pm

    “What really troubled me was the fact that someone made a claim, an accusation with zero facts,” she continued. “It was completely bogus, and it left our kids really scared.”

    I have a daughter who picked a loser husband, and since their divorce, she found out that the husbands side of the family uses the state DSS as a weapon. Any one can make an anonymous call to DSS, accuse someone of child abuse, and the DSS treats it like you have your kids tied up in the basement. Now it appears people who live in fear of everything can call the cops when they see something they don’t approve of, and the cops act as their weapon of choice. In my rural community, where we also do net meetings and video for school kids right now, my grandson showed his class a picture of himself practicing with my old Savage .22 bolt action, plinking at metal targets. The teachers response. ” Good shooting Henry!” It is time to remove metropolitan areas as voting blocks and leave control of the country to those where common sense is still in the majority, with no need to placate a mass of people living on top of each other. Now, it is the other way around where the embedded masses think they need to tell everybody else the laws and regulations they need from a viewpoint that is as alien to us and instructions from Neptune.

  • JM May 29, 2020, 12:02 pm

    These reckless police have to be stopped. In one years time I’ve personally gone from fully supporting the police to absolutely hating everyone of them. If I saw a random citizen getting mugged on the street I would do everything I could to stop it. If I saw a cop getting beat to death I’d simply walk away. I no longer have any respect for law enforcement of any kind.

    • Bullseye May 30, 2020, 5:44 am

      This is sad, as the vast majority of the police are still the good guys. In the last few years the press have been reporting Law Enforcement in a bad light, just as they do the President, in every story they write about. The press/left want ciaos so that racism and 2nd amendment issues (etc.. etc.) in this country continue to escalate and further divide us. . I wonder how much of this story is even factual or true, besides possibly that some parent called the police to report a toy gun visible on zoom. I do not believe very much of what I read or view in the press. It is no longer the facts, but is very jaded to empower their agenda. This same story could have been easily written to make Law enforcement look good, if that was the goal of the author. It is easy to make up “False News”.

    • Kane May 30, 2020, 10:03 am

      What happened in that year? You left out the main ingredient of your bitter cup.

  • FirstStateMark May 29, 2020, 11:38 am

    I’m still trying to get over the fact that some jackass actually called the police over a toy gun. This sounds like a parent that gives out trophy’s for last place.

    • Richard Jorgensen May 29, 2020, 12:45 pm


  • David Ingram May 29, 2020, 11:21 am

    The new deferment if the draft had to be reinstated. “irrational fear of firearms.”

  • dave brown May 29, 2020, 11:21 am

    I don’t know if the caller was on the right or the left and I believe may on either side are just plain messed up. Why and How WE The People have ended up in this condition is beyond me, but it needs to change. I honestly believe that it is the plan by both the right and the left to make us into their gang. Now I have belonged to 2 gangs in my life, and it is a childish thing to do, sorry buds but grow up. I am waiting for the right to give US National Carry and to Free Up their offices which are 99% Gun Free Zone, and I don’t think I will live long enough to see them do it as they are All Talk and No Action. Same goes for the left as they have some odd believes all in an effort to get us to join their Gang. Me I have A Free Mind, and I am Party Blind, come join me. God Bless US ALL

  • steves May 29, 2020, 10:32 am

    We’re never too young to learn. Teach them early and often. I don’t remember not knowing how to shoot and the lessons I learned early are BURNED into my psyche! I have 3 sons who will say the same thing and they are teaching their sons “early and often”. Teach them to respect firearms early and they’ll teach others the same. This fear mongering “for the chilrun” is horseshit.
    In Wyoming.

  • Eric Angelo May 29, 2020, 10:26 am

    This just makes me sad for America.

  • Matthew Madison May 29, 2020, 10:10 am

    First I would have told those cops to get off my property second in the next zoom video I would have had toy guns everywhere. Firearms are not dangerous, people without knowledge on firearms are dangerous. This is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Mr policemen if firearms are dangerous then you should turn yours in and find a new career.

  • Big Al 45 May 29, 2020, 9:16 am

    NEVER step outside of your doorway, unless the police have a search warrant or a writ. Castle Doctrine folks!
    Better yet, don’t open the screen/security door, and if you don’t have one, get one.
    This is a trick to lure you into a position where they can take you down if needed, and claim you came out of the house.
    And to allow oneself to be LECTURED by cops on your OWN property?!?!?!?!?!!??
    One must know the law, for your OWN protection.
    Most cops are basically good, but there are a few who are power mongers, so beware.

    • Rattlerjake May 29, 2020, 6:06 pm

      You’re a fool! There is no such thing as a “good cop”. ALL law enforcement officers belong to the government cabal. They all enforce more unconstitutional law then they do constitutional law, and they do it often knowing it. Just because a cop does a “good dead” once in a while, doesn’t discount all of the bad they do on a daily basis, and that includes turning a blind eye when their fellow cops break the law. I have yet to see one cop get a ticket for speeding, yet ALL of them do it. Stories like this one, and of cops killing innocent unarmed citizens, shooting dogs in their owners yard/house, no-knock raids, etc. simply reinforce the fact that they will do what their handlers tell them over what the Constitution says! Make no mistake, cops are NOT your friend.

      • Kane May 30, 2020, 9:59 am

        And so you call Colin Kaeperneck when your you property has been damaged or stolen?

      • Bullseye May 30, 2020, 5:29 pm

        Cops are still your friends! The press is making the police look bad as they have been doing about stories on the 2nd amendment and racism. Make no mistake the Press are Not your friend. I do not believe this story, as you could easily write it to make the police look foolish or look good. The Press and their False News is a huge threat to our way of life. They do not report the facts anymore. The press writes stories to further their leftist cause. As a 30 year LEO all my hundreds of police friends support the 2nd amendment, are not racist and want their kids to grow up the same.

  • The Finger May 29, 2020, 9:14 am

    Continuing the psychological warfare to make the fools compliant . The Minnesota police execution of George Floyd proves an armed population is a requirement . It is to your families extreme detriment if you do not own firearms.

  • renny May 29, 2020, 9:12 am

    so why did they step out of house, or listen to the crap the police were spouting, did they ask for warrent, oh yeah they could have been shot because “police feared for their life”, after all it had been reported that they were armed. it would have just been a “tragic accident” if they had been shot

  • jstert May 29, 2020, 9:03 am

    the police have no business lecturing lawabiding parents on what constitutes proper parenting. have the police nothing better to do? at what point do police exercise sane normalcy and push back against ridiculousness? is it any wonder that many folks look at police with mixed feelings? what part of “public servant” is misunderstood? police need to smarten up. it is a fine line between crime fighter and instrument of repression.

  • Angry panda May 29, 2020, 8:40 am

    Too bad the cop didn’t then go to the parent and teacher that called it on and give them a goddamned lesson on firearms so they world know the difference. Kids have had you guys and far more realistic ones than we have today since guns were invented and it wasn’t until liberals took over the schools that wet started having daily mass shootings. Sounds to me the problem is in the parents raised by them and the teachers that are a part of this system.

  • Marvin May 29, 2020, 8:23 am

    Do police not think for themselves anymore? This is totally absurd!

  • Old School Adult May 29, 2020, 8:21 am

    Police should have charged the person making the complaint with false reporting. What a WASTE of time by the police.

  • Charlie Boudreaux May 29, 2020, 7:51 am

    Remember Leon on The Andy Griffith Show ? Just like Clint Howard I went around with my double rig cap revolvers, those were the days.

  • Blasted Cap May 29, 2020, 7:08 am

    Rule #1. Never step outside to “just have a talk” with police. Never going to end well for you.

    Rule #2. They need to remember they’re LAW enforcement, NOT FEELINGS enforcement. If a LAW hasn’t been broken, they have no business being there. Period.

    • Kane May 30, 2020, 9:53 am

      OK, but what should be done concerning “Rule #1?

  • David Reed May 29, 2020, 7:08 am

    Sorry Officer I REFUSE TO ANSWER any questions without a LAWYER Present and you will need a search warrant to enter my home! Am I under arrest am I free to go ????


    • Bullseye May 30, 2020, 5:19 pm

      if you believe that the system works like that you have never been in the situation. You don’t have to talk to the police, but if the gun is a toy it would sure shorten and help end the situation. When the police arrive they have the legal authority to enter your home to make sure everyone is safe (in this situation) and to determine if a crime has been committed. If a real gun was left around for a child to have access to, that is a crime (endangerment, child neglect, etc.). If no crime was committed then they document the situation and who they talked to and leave. They do not have the authority or right to lecture a parent on weather their children should play with toy guns. I do not believe the Press and do not believe this story, as it is written. It was written to make police look bad. Do not trust the Press. The press are not your friend!!!

  • Rangemaster11B May 29, 2020, 6:53 am

    Looks like the Illudium P38 Explosive Space Modulator. Curious to know what jurisdiction has cops dumb enough to get involved in this farce.

    • Frank S. May 29, 2020, 1:38 pm

      That was just shown as an obvious toy gun. At the end of the article it states that Guns America had not received a reply when they asked the parents what kind of toy gun it was. In all fairness, they shouldn’t have posted a photo that was obviously a toy without knowing what it was. May have been easy to mistake it for a real gun.

      • DaveGinOly May 30, 2020, 1:05 am

        It doesn’t matter if it WAS a real gun. No crime was reported, so it was not a police matter. There should have been no police response at all.

  • Robert May 29, 2020, 6:50 am

    Simple solution to any Zoom call in the future. Just hang a sheet behind yourself so the unamerican brain dead pieces of shit don’t have a reason to call anyone!!!!

  • Jesse Scott May 29, 2020, 6:25 am

    Thank you for your concern officer. Legally owned and secured weapons in my home are none of your business. Neither are the toys that my son owns.

  • Bryon Chadwick May 29, 2020, 5:18 am

    It is too badd you don’t like toy guns not of that stupid you don’t like any guns at all that your own educate and you can’t think outside of your own selfishness could hear an educated let me educate you as for in 8 years in military Mike I have had 3 kids and 3 grand kids my 3 kids all O more CCW holders as myself and all my kids were raised learned how to shoot at a young age guns are on safe people are a safe and when you can not I mean cannot my your own business and stay out of people’s homes that I hear problem grow up the are are not happy you would girl wife and you think you got to tell everybody else how to live and what to do what they can own noticed that knowledge America I would examine more but I wouldn’t I’m going just calm down and back away right now

    • Frank April 23, 2021, 2:25 pm

      Byron, it is sad that you apparently have no skills related to typing (keyboarding), use of singular or plural words (grammar), punctuation or capitalization. If it is your excited state causing the incoherent nature of your keyboard rant I wonder what makes you any more coherent while agitated and carrying.
      I get it. The gun grabbers are for the most part ignorant. Most all are overly emotional — whether sincere or acting. Yes, many of them are dishonest. Most have no concept of liberty for all. Please re-post your comment after you are calm and collected. To post such as you did makes us that understand and support the Second Amendment look bad. I love your passion and enthusiasm but please, harness and guide it. Uncontrolled and non-aimed fire wastes valuable ammo.

  • Bruce B May 28, 2020, 6:19 pm

    Well if this story doesn’t make those parents want to buy a gun, they aren’t paying attention.

  • randell mcpherson May 28, 2020, 2:11 pm

    I absolutely don’t have any guns in my house, Officer. Period. None. NOPE! Not a one!

    • Calvin D. Blumhorst May 29, 2020, 7:28 am

      Be careful when you make such a statement.

      Police can, and do, lie with impunity. You however, are held to a higher standard.

      If you lie and are later prosecuted for a crime or called as a witness, your lies will be used in court to show nothing you say can be believed. When the lies are discovered during an investigation, it will make police focus on you as a suspect in the crime, whether as the primary actor or an accessory.

    • FAL Phil May 29, 2020, 8:06 am

      Just keep in mind that lying to police is a felony in most states. Just sayin’.

  • SuperG May 28, 2020, 9:47 am

    I’m sure the criminals listened when the parents said they do not own a gun, too.

    • Joe Chirieleison May 29, 2020, 10:14 am

      Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

  • Bobs your uncle May 27, 2020, 9:19 pm

    Every time I see a green and silver Mega-Strato blaster my blood just boils and I’m not alone apparently. sorry I couldn’t resist.

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