New York, May 15 (ANI): Toy guns sold in US can easily be transformed into the real killing machine. The popular airsoft or paintball guns which are used to shoot pellets of colour have a similar bottom half as their lethal cousins the AR-15.
"The airsoft can be converted to an AR-15," firearms manufacturer Leo Gonnuscio told FoxNews.com after testing the make and model of airsoft guns seized by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) .
Gonnuscio said he was surprised to find that he was able to to transform this particular gun to the real thing -- and with "minimal work," because its bottom half, or "receiver," is so similar to an AR-15's, the report said.
To make the airsoft receiver function just like an AR-15's, all one has to do is drill a hole. And once that's out of the way, the rest is even easier. The AR-15 receiver is the only part of the semi-automatic rifle that is given a serial number, and is the only part that is regulated.
The cost of buying the Taiwan-made airsoft gun and all the parts needed to convert it to an AR-15 comes to roughly $1,100 -- more than the cost of some real AR-15s. But someone who can't clear a background check or has been refused a gun for any other reason could use this method to make his own lethal weapon.
The makeshift gun would likely be able to fire only 15-20 rounds before it stopped working due to the pressure it would have to withstand while firing in an automatic fashion.
Gonnuscio said, "It may not last forever, but they've got a gun to get the job done that they were assigned to do, and nobody knows the wiser."
Meanwhile, the (ATF) is already in the know of the airsoft's possible abuse. However, the guns continue to be sold in stores around the country, and it appears to be bowing to critics and reconsidering its stance on the guns' convertibility.
"We're having to take a serious look at this, so it's just something that we're reviewing, and I'm hoping we'll have some information that we can make available to the public certainly very soon," ATF spokesman Drew Wade told FoxNews.com.
Commercial considerations are also responsible for the unregulated sale of these guns, the U.S. is such a big market for these airsoft guns, Gonnuscio said, a foreign manufacture would change the product if its current design were banned here.
"There are tons of good uses for these guns: We use them for training, kids do reenacting with them, kids get out there and play just like the old days. So let them have their toys.
"Just make sure they're still toys," he adds as a word of caution. (ANI)