NY settles with 7 online retailers over toy gun sales

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced Tuesday settlements with seven toy retailers accused of selling more than 2,000 imitation guns through Amazon in 2015.

“We have seen all too often the tragic consequences that can arise when toy guns are mistaken for real ones,” he said. “The toy gun law exists to protect New York’s children and our brave law enforcement officers, and we will continue our commitment to enforcing this law and holding accountable any retailers who violate it.”

New York law bans imitation weapons, but a 2015 investigation into major retailers — including Wal-Mart, Kmart and Sears — revealed the companies continued to sell the “realistic looking” toys online. In August, all three retailers and Amazon agreed to stop selling the items and paid a $300,000 fine.

Tuesday’s agreement brings the total number of retailers caught in Schneiderman’s crackdown to 42.

The retailers, who will pay a combined $44,000 in penalties, are: Halloweencostumes.com (fun.com), Holy Monkey (Kids Army), Dentt, Inc. (Hammond Toy & Hobby), GL2 LLC (Always Brilliant), Chevere International Corp (Five Big Stars), Fatherland Shop (Jubilee Enterprises) and Costume Hub.

Schneiderman said the retailers can continue selling toy guns so long as the items meet “the stringent New York City standard” of being colored “entirely white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple or a combination of these colors.”

Imitation gun bans continue gaining traction nationwide as police-involved shootings of teens carrying the items dominates the news cycle. In December, Baltimore City Council approved its own ordinance banning replicas after police officers shot 14-year-old Dedric Colvin in the shoulder and leg seven months earlier. Colvin was carrying a BB gun officers said resembled a semiautomatic pistol.

And in Brooklyn last month, three police officers shot and killed 18-year-old Sergio Reyes after he robbed a deli with a pellet gun, The New York Daily News reports. Officers said they opened fire after Reyes pointed the gun at them.