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[Joel Arbaje]

The Business of Guns

QUIZ: Is This Gun Real or Fake?

Some replica firearms are virtually indistinguishable from deadly weapons, adding peril to encounters with police. Can you tell the difference?

Dozens of firearms companies license their designs to manufacturers of airsoft guns. The replica weapons fire 6mm plastic BBs, but may otherwise be identical to real guns in appearance, construction, and branding.

Airsoft licensing deals can be lucrative for gun makers, and gun industry lobbying groups view the realistic toys as gateways to real gun ownership. But experts warn that even trained law enforcement officials often have no way to tell whether a weapon is real or fake. According to a Washington Post database, 153 people with toy guns have been fatally shot by police since 2015.

Can you tell the difference between a real gun and an airsoft replica? Take the quiz below to find out.

Images: Cybergun; SPUTNIK / Alamy Stock Photo; Walther Arms; YouTube user Nishiyan240; katalinks / Shutterstock; Joe Raedle/Getty Images; JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images; AP Photo/Mark Duncan