New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has issued a cease and desist order for all realistic-looking toy guns in the state.
New York already has strict toy gun laws that mandate all facsimile weapons have a bright, 1-inch-wide orange stripe “down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel,” but an investigation from the state’s attorney general’s office revealed that the laws were not being adhered to.
The investigation found there were more than 6,000 violations of the law, which led to a $300,000 settlement from Wal-Mart, Amazon, and a slew of other retailers.
“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” said Schneiderman. “New York State law is clear: retailers cannot put children and law enforcement at risk by selling toy guns that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.”
The attorney general’s office realizes that even if they successfully ban all sales of facsimile firearms within the state, customers can easily turn to the Internet to make their purchases.
“One of the retailers sent a cease and desist letter, Wal-Mart, was the subject of an earlier investigation by the Attorney General’s office into in-store sales of such toys, which resulted in a court order prohibiting them from selling toy guns in New York State,” the attorney general’s office said. “It now appears that those sales have moved to the online marketplace. This new investigation reveals that many prohibited toy guns, priced from less than $10 to as much as several hundred dollars, can be easily purchased online and shipped into the state. The recent investigation also uncovered that at least one retailer is selling illegal toy guns in its stores.”
It’s understandable that New York would want to protect Law Enforcement by eliminating realistic-looking toy guns. However, facsimile firearms have been around for generations, and it’s unlikely the restrictive law will have any bearing on a given law enforcement officer’s ability to perceive a threat. After all, even a phone can look like a firearm under the right circumstances.
(This article was submitted by freelance writer Brent Rogers)