In their relentless pursuit of firearms, Democrats are coming from every angle. In this case, New York Attorney General Leticia James targets toy guns. Although she is discussing New York, could this have sweeping national implications?
New York Attorney General Targets Toy Guns
Recently, New York Attorney General Leticia James addressed a letter to Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair, Alexander Hoehn-Saric and Department of Commerce Secretary, Gina M. Raimondo. In the letter, James cites examples where a toy gun led to a police-involved shooting.
In all but one case of a 17-year-old experiencing a mental health crisis, all examples were adult criminals. James makes it clear in the letter that her actions are due to criminal activity. However, it is not the criminals she is going after, it is children and their toys.
She writes, “Far too often, fake guns are used to commit real crimes. The last attempt at a large-scale study of this phenomenon, found that police recovered thousands of fake crime [sic] guns every year, including in approximately 15% of all robberies.”
However tragic every death is, you cannot place the blame on the toy. Doing so only turns children into the bad guy. Not to mention, her letter even details that it is not only toy guns that have led to the shootings.
“Deadly mistakes do not require indistinguishable imitation guns—Saheed Vassell of Brooklyn was shot multiple times by four different officers because they believed a length of silver pipe he was holding was a firearm,” she states.
Potential National Implications?
Although she doesn’t detail what legislation she’s proposing, she is clear that she intends to fight to make it federal.
She begins the letter, “I write today concerning the long-standing need for strong, coherent federal regulations mandating distinct visual differences between three categories of consumer products: 1) toy, lookalike, and imitation guns (hereinafter “toy guns”), 2) non-powder (bb, air and pellet) guns, and 3) firearms.”
Likewise, her conclusion includes, “I intend to advocate forcefully for those changes during the coming state legislative session. However, as with common-sense public safety regulations of actual firearms, there is no substitute for uniform federal regulations.”
It is clear that no amount of legislation is going to stop people from breaking the law. Also, regardless of any new laws or bans, criminals will still exploit them. James acknowledges that there are already laws in place to prevent these tragic shootings and they are not working.
According to the letter, “As it currently stands, toy guns must: (1) have a permanently affixed blaze orange plug inserted in the firearm’s barrel, (2) have a similar marking on the exterior of the barrel, (3) be constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials, or (4) be covered in certain bright colors.”
The only real option left is a complete ban on toy guns. Are we seriously going to turn our children into criminals overnight because adults are using their toys to commit crimes? Is that really who we are now?
Some may argue that children don’t need such realistic-looking toy guns. However, it can also be argued that adults shouldn’t be carrying toy guns and doing things to get the attention of law enforcement. Not to mention, simply dropping the toy gun and clarifying that it is a toy, would mitigate any trouble.
If we have learned anything from all of the current anti-gun laws, it’s that they only disarm law-abiding citizens. Any kind of ban on toy guns will only remove toys from the hands of children but the accidental shootings will continue.