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New York States Fines Walmart and Amazon for Selling Realistic Toy Guns

Law Shield reports that the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office has settled with retailers Wal-mart, Amazon, K-Mart and Sears, and an online retailer ACTA for selling toy guns that look too real.

The state fined the companies more than $300,000 collectively for the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, that lacked a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and an orange barrel tip as required by state law.  The city of New York’s law goes even further, requiring the entire toy weapon be brightly colored and also display a visible logo.

The Schneiderman’s office has said, “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.”

His office blames toy guns for four deaths over the past 18 years and 63 incidents since 1994 in which law enforcement officers shot someone brandishing a toy weapon they perceived as real.  The problem, they claim, is that without these markings, a police officer cannot see the orange barrel tip of a toy gun that is tucked into the waistband and has to make a split-second decision when the person starts to draw it out.

Under the terms of the settlement, the retailers must adhere to the stricter New York City law for any toy guns they sell in the state.  A spokesman for ACTA said the company has stopped shipping to New York addresses.

Is New York overreacting?  Should toy guns be less realistic looking?

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