Commissioners in Johnson City, Tennessee, lifted the ban on the sale of “look-alike” weapons March 20 after realizing the law was in violation of a federal statute for nearly 25 years.
City ordinance 11-124, which was originally passed in 1985, previously outlawed the sale of air guns, slingshots, paintball guns and any other toy or imitation firearm. But after recently discovering the ordinance was in conflict with U.S. Code Title 15 Section 5001, which took affect in 1989 and allows the sale of “look-alike” weapons, Mayor Ralph Van Brocklin was quick to amend it, Johnson City Press reports.
“The ordinance that we had on the books previously had been on the books for a long time,” said Van Brocklin. “It had never been brought to our attention – prior to very recently – that apparently we are not allowed to have that type of ordinance. We were simply addressing a problem that is inconsistent with the federal statute.”
The conflicting laws were brought to the city’s attention by the Crossman Corp., which manufactures and sells “look-alike” weapons. City ordinance 11-124 has since been amended and now allows imitation firearms to be sold, but only to adults.