New York Is Cracking Down on Toy Gun Sales

New York’s attorney general wants to restrict the sale of realistic-looking toy guns in the state.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Thursday that his office sent cease-and-desist letters to Walmart, Kmart, Amazon, Sears and similar retailers, asking them to restrict online sales to New Yorkers.

This toy guy, available via Toyarsenal.com, would violate the NY State law because it does not bear a clear orange strip down the side. (Image source: 411toys.com)
This toy gun, a “Super Spy Style 35mm” available at Toyarsenal.com, would violate the New York state law because it does not bear a clear orange strip down the side. (Image source: 411toys.com)

“The letters, stemming from an ongoing investigation, call for retailers to immediately stop the in-store and online sale and shipment to New Yorkers of toy guns that violate New York State law pending the resolution of (the) investigation,” the attorney general’s office said.

According to the Associated Press, Walmart  — the large U.S retailer with more than 11,000 stores — said it will comply with the attorney general’s demands.

The office instructed retailers to follow a state law that says sellers must ensure the toy guns aren’t mistaken for functioning firearms — specifically, the toy guns cannot be sold in “realistic” colors unless the barrel is clearly marked with a visible orange stripe.

“Some of the toy guns discovered during the investigation are advertised as “realistic looking” and “full size,” the office said in the release.  “Since they lack the orange striping down both sides of the barrel as required under state law, these imitation assault rifles, shotguns, and pistols closely resemble dangerous weapons, and could be easily mistaken for real weapons by law enforcement and civilians alike.”

In 2003, Walmart agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to settle a case alleging that the retailer was selling toy guns in violation of the NY state law. Schneiderman’s renewed push follows the death of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy who was shot by police while on a playground brandishing the a realistic-looking toy gun.

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