Toy Gun Exchange in Buffalo

April 5, 2013 Updated Apr 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

April 5, 2013 Updated Apr 5, 2013 at 6:44 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW)- Are toy guns bad examples for our youth? Some non-violence advocacy groups think so. The Buffalo F.A.T.H.E.R.S. group, No More Tears, Stop the Violence Coalition and other groups organized a toy gun exchange for kids. Children ages 6 to 16 who participated in the two day program at the Delavan Grider Community Center received other play items in exchange for their toy guns.

"What we're finding is our children are getting use to holding these toy guns, pointing it, firing it and getting use to that toy," said F.A.T.H.E.R.S. President Lenny Lane. "Eventually we feel they'll want a real one and when they get a real one it can be deadly."

The groups believe toy guns are desensitizing children into using a real gun at an older age, resulting in future violence and tragedy.

"A lot of these kids come from homes where there is a gun in the home," said Lt. Steve Nichols of the Buffalo Police Department. "Their parents may be working when they get home and my job is to teach them to stay away from that gun. You only get one chance."