UPDATE, Wednesday: City Council unanimously approved the ordinance.
Police Commissioner William Evans strongly backs a proposed ordinance that would let police seize toy and replica guns that look too much like the real thing.
Evans said the guns increasingly being used in crimes. At a City Council committee hearing this morning, he pointed to last night's robbery outside the Savin Hill T stop, allegedly by two teens with a realistic-looking BB gun as just the latest example of people using replica guns in crimes.
"It's a critical ordinance for us in the Police Department, because obviously we see way too many of these on the streets of the city now," Evans said.
Mayor Walsh proposed the regulations in August.
But he added that he is also worried what happens when somebody points one of the guns at a police officer and the officer responds with deadly force - as happened in Cleveland with a 12-year-old boy and in Brockton with a 45-year-old man.
A situation like that "is our biggest fear," he said.
"These aren't toys, these basically can do a lot of damage in the city," he added.
Dan Mulhern, the mayor's adviser on public safety, emphasized the proposed ordinance carries no criminal penalties but is instead an attempt to educate the public - in particular parents - on the problems with realistic-looking replicas that do not have bright orange tips or other markers to show they are just toys.
Under the proposed ordinance, police would seize the replicas, then hold them for awhile. Parents of kids under 18 who had their toys seized could go down to the local police station and retrieve them. People over 18 could do the same thing.
The City Council could vote on adopting the measure at its meeting tomorrow, which starts at noon in its fifth-floor chambers in City Hall.