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New York Attorney General Orders Immediate Halt To Realistic Toy Gun Sales

It is illegal to sell toy guns in New York that look real.
John Moore
Getty Images
It is illegal to sell toy guns in New York that look real.

Toy guns that look real should no longer be sold in New York.

NPR's Joel Rose reports that retailers who were selling realistic-looking toy guns have agreed to halt their sales of the product. Wal-Mart, Amazon and other retailers have also agreed to pay $300,000 in fines as part of a settlement announced Monday.

An investigation by the New York attorney general's office found more than 6,000 toy guns that violate New York law were sold in the state in the past three years.

New York law requires toy guns that are made in realistic colors like black blue, silver or aluminum, to have a bright, 1-inch-wide orange stripe "down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel," according to the attorney general office's press release.

"When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences," said Attorney General Eric 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."

Here's more from the attorney general's office:

"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. 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."

Joel says, "There's been a push for increased regulation of toy guns since a police officer in Cleveland fatally shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice last November. Tamir was holding a realistic airsoft gun."

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