My 5-year-old son found this buried in a sandbox at the public playground near our house. It's plastic. I described it to Mark who instantly determined that it was an Airsoft gun. In fact, it's available for $4 via Amazon. According to the Airsoft entry on Wikipedia:
Federal law in the United States requires that a 6 mm (0.24 in) orange tip to be present on all "toy guns" (including airsoft replicas) while being imported into the United States. These brightly coloured tips show the difference between real and replica firearms, which helps to ensure safety. However, when playing on a field, no orange tip is needed. The federal regulations do not require the owner to keep the muzzle painted after acquiring their airsoft gun. Few players choose to keep the tip, whether for safety or another reason, and some switch their orange-painted flash hiders with more realistic ones shortly before playing while at the field's staging area.
Either somebody popped the orange tip off this one or, like many models in the Airsoft product shots, it never had one. I guess I'm just surprised these things are still so readily available. And that one turned up in a playground sandbox. I'm glad no police officers happened upon the kid who was brandishing this "toy" before it was buried. And if they did, I hope the young person followed these words of advice from AirSplat.com, the "Nation's Largest AirSoft Retailer":
If you are confronted by a police officer while transporting or playing with your airsoft gun, stay calm and follow their orders to the letter. Tell them that the gun isn’t real, and ask them what you should do. Don’t make any sudden movements and DO NOT argue with the officers. Your attitude can mean the difference between being arrested and being released.
Or being shot?