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New York Councilmen Try to Ban Toy Guns

The recent shooting of a 17-year-old who was brandishing a realistic-looking toy gun has rekindled the fire of two New York City councilmen to ban all toy guns.

But in New York City, toy guns are nothing to play around with. Sometimes they even get people killed. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
The recent shooting of a 17-year-old who was brandishing a realistic-looking toy gun has rekindled the fire of two New York City councilmen to ban all toy guns. 
The city already bans the sale, possession or use of “any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm,” according to Newsday.com. 
New Yorkers can currently buy white or brightly colored guns and water guns. However, the law does not prohibit citizens from staining or coloring a gun black so it looks more realistic, Newsday reported. 
“If you spray-paint a toy gun black, it clearly looks like a real gun,” David Weprin, D-Queens, a sponsor of the law, told the New York Post. “Therefore, we’re taking it one step further and basically disallowing any sale of any toy gun in the city of New York.”
Councilman Albert Vann, a Brooklyn Democrat and co-sponsor of the bill, told the Post that toy guns should be banned because criminals are increasingly using them to commit real crimes.
“Adults that are criminal-minded are using toy guns because they know that, if caught, the penalty is less severe,” Vann said.
A recent survey by Johns Hopkins Children Center showed that most parents didn’t like their children playing with guns.
Researchers surveyed more than 900 parents and guardians visiting pediatricians’ offices in Washington, D.C., and its suburbs, according to the center’s Web site.
Nearly 70 percent of those surveyed felt it was “never OK” for a parent to let a child play with toy guns.
“The parents who allowed their children to play with toy guns were more likely to be male, with male children, and Caucasian,” according to the survey. “Families with younger children and mothers were more likely to limit toy gun play.”
Tina Cheng, director of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, said some studies have linked toy gun play with aggressive behavior.
“Concerns about toy guns also include potential confusion of toy guns with real guns and the dangers of toy guns with projectiles,” read the study, “all of which could potentially cause serious injury to both the child and others.”
Jodi Mathews is BCE’s communications director.