Walmart, Sears Holdings, Kmart, Amazon, and a few more retailers have come under fire for selling realistic guns. The state of New York is one of approximately 7 states that bans the sale of authentic-looking toy guns to its citizens. New York is suing the mentioned retailers for ignoring its state laws, claiming that the over 6,400 prohibited sales performed between 2012 and 2014 will place buyers and the police in danger. There have been over 63 shootings and 8 fatalities in New York alone due to an individual carrying an imitation weapon. Recently, the issue of toy gun deaths has resurfaced since the shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Ohio. The young man was shot and killed by a patrol officer who said he believed the boy’s toy gun was real. In 2013, a 13-year-old boy was shot and killed by a California police officer while carrying a plastic replica of an assault rifle.
It is these types of events that New York State has tried to prevent with its laws. Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman, claims that companies care more about profit than the safety of children and police officers. New York City requires that all toy guns sold be completely brightly colored, have distinctive markers on the sides and tips identifying them as toys. The companies have agreed to pay over $300,000 in fines. Wal-Mart will have to pay the heftiest portion of the fines ($225,000) to New York State. In addition to the suit, the state sent cease and desist letters to over dozens of online retailers.
This latest lawsuit is just one incident that is a part of a bigger conversation about gun safety and violence in the United States. In a time where individuals can buy guns online without background checks, retailers and governments must work together to decrease unnecessary and senseless shootings due to toy guns. None of the mentioned retailers have been available for comment.
Talks about gun violence in America is nothing new. Despite the bad press, responsible gun ownership is still legal and ethical. Gun sales are on the rise, and if you’re a gun dealer you will need an experienced payment processor to enable online sales. eMerchantBroker is the number one online payment processor that can help expand your online firearm merchant account. We will give your customers critical services with flexible payment processes like debit and credit card processing.