WXXI Local Stories
6:28 pm
Tue July 28, 2009

Cuomo Orders Fake Guns Off Shelves

Rochester, NY – New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo was in Rochester Tuesday to campaign against the sale of realistic looking toy guns.

Cuomo says state law already prohibits the sale of toy guns that look real. But a recent investigation turned up a number of retailers who were either unaware of the restrictions, or were selling the guns regardless.

Models that strongly resemble real guns are a problem, according to Cuomo. Not only can they be used in real crimes - they can confuse police officers into using deadly force.

Rochester Mayor Robert Duffy, a former police officer, shared his harrowing experience to support the need to get fake guns off the streets.

"It was a person who I actually knew, who hung out on the street - never saw him with a gun. We get called, and there he is, he's coming up, and he's clicking, clicking, clicking. I was there with another police officer and we were screaming at him to drop the gun. It was almost to the point where we were both going to shoot [and] he dropped the gun. To this day, I've never forgotten that."

The AG has sent "cease and desist" letters to a number of retailers, ordering them to get guns off store shelves. They have several days to comply before Cuomo pursues legal action.

Cuomo says that New York State law is more stringent than federal law, which simply requires an orange plug in the barrel. New York law prohibits the sale of a gun in a realistic colors unless it has an orange stripe running down the length of the toy.