Gulfport Police Get Target Practice Using Special Weapons

Officers from several law enforcement agencies got in some practice on the Gulfport Police firing range with what are called "air-soft" weapons.

The handguns and machine guns police were firing aren't real. They shoot projectiles that look like plastic BB's.

Training coordinator Tim Oshiki says the weapons are replicas of the same firearms police actually use. Oshiki says the new technology is catching on slowly around the country, but it provides valuable training.

"What it does is it gives them an opportunity to practice with firearms that fit in their duty gear," Oshiki said. "They use the same accessories and provide them an opportunity to train in exactly the same manner that they'll be called upon to act, using exactly the same gear. So the same gunbelt that an officer wears on duty will be the same one that he's able to practice with using these firearms."

He says he likes to refer to the "air-soft" weapons simply as training firearms. He says they're available to law enforcement agencies around the country.