'Let's avoid tragedy': Police issue safety warning about buying toy or replica guns

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Police in North Carolina have issued a warning about buying toy or replica guns as Christmas gifts.

The Hillsborough Police Department posted the warning Sunday on its Facebook page. It included photos comparing a real Glock 23 handgun with a toy Airsoft Glock 19.

"The AIRSOFT gun gives the same appearance as a real firearm and a child, teen or even an adult being given or purchasing this gun should treat it as real," the post says.

Police say there's no way to tell a difference between the guns when making a split-second decision.

"A gun should never be pointed at another person unless deadly force is necessary, these airsoft guns are real in the eyes of a law enforcement officer, ccw holder or someone protecting their home."

The post ends with, "Let's avoid tragedy and be very responsible with these 'toys.'"