Picture of boy carrying toy gun sparks uproar in Australia

Sydney, June 11 (IANS) A photo of a child carrying a toy gun in Australia’s Sydney city has sparked public outrage and prompted local government to consider legislation to regulate the sale of replica guns.

A photo of the boy was published on Thursday carrying a replica AK-47 assault rifle — missing marks identifying it as a toy — with his finger on the trigger, Xinhua news agency reported.

The boy is pictured beside a man and toddler in a pram, just metres away from the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place where two people along with the attacker were killed during the hostage crisis in December 2014.

Scott Weber, president of the Police Association of New South Wales (NSW), said police were concerned about the image.

“In this heightened terrorism environment, if someone sees what looks to be a real firearm, regardless of the age of the person carrying it, they’re going to have genuine concerns,” Weber said.

Australian reaction on social media of the event has been significant.

“What was going through the head of that parent allowing their young son to walk through Martin Place holding a toy gun?” one person tweeted.

The incident has prompted the NSW government to review replica gun legislation.

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