2003-01-11 / Editorial/Opinion

Toy Guns May Not Be Much Fun

Toy Guns May Not Be Much Fun

The recent tragic shooting of a young man who held a BB gun to the head of an undercover police officer once again underlines the need for a tough state law that makes it illegal to manufacture or sell a toy gun that looks so real that it fools even the experts. There is no doubt in our minds that the police officers acted within their guidelines in shooting 17-year-old Allen Newsome. The youth was attempting to hold up the police officer, who was dressed as a Wimpy’s deliveryman. There had been three previous robberies at gunpoint of delivery men in the area and Wimpy’s had called police, telling them that they had received a "suspicious delivery call – that the person who ordered the food needed change for a $50 bill." After the shooting, the previous victims reportedly identified Newsome as the person who held them up. The issue is not the innocence of Newsome. The issue remains toy guns that look so realistic that children are getting shot with those toys in their hands. Two City Councilmen, David Weprin and Al Vann, have joined police Lieutenant Eric Adams (100 Blacks in Law Enforcement) in calling for a tougher law that would ban "any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm." We agree that the time is right for such a law and we urge our city council representatives to join in the call for the tougher law.

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