Kids allowed to handle guns at festival in Santa Rosa

A kid plays with a gun at festival in Santa Rosa (Courtesy of Atilla Nagy via Press Democrat)

August 16, 2011 8:22:50 AM PDT
Santa Rosa police are facing questions over controversial images coming out of a festival this past weekend.

Photos taken at South Park Day show a police officer talking with kids. One young boy is holding a fully-automatic assault rifle and looking through its scope. Another picture shows a young boy grabbing a riot gun on a table beside the city's SWAT command vehicle.

One Santa Rosa city council member says the photos are alarming and kids shouldn't be that close to the weapons. But the chief and event organizers argue the weapons were unloaded and seeing them helps the community better understand the mission and work of law enforcement.