2007-08-17 / Community

Sanders Out-Guns Air Pistols

National Chain Pulls BB Guns, Ammunition From Shelves

Councilman James Sanders Jr. recently announced that his battle to push a retail giant's local store to pull air pistols, BB guns and ammunition from its shelves has been successful. Sanders fought to get the guns removed from store shelves because they can be easily mistaken for real guns.

The councilman was made aware of the problem when law enforcement officials and community leaders contacted him regarding the proliferation of air pistols and BB guns in the 31st District. Sanders immediately contacted officials of the national retail chain that sold such items. The store deliberated at the highest level, decided Sanders' concerns were valid and pulled the guns and ammunition off their shelves. The company requested that Sanders not identify them and he has agreed not to.

"We have probably saved a cop from firing his weapon, believing a suspect had a real gun. When companies market and sell these weapons, they don't think about the 12-year-old who may decide to take their air pistol to school or outside to a crowded park," said Sanders. "I want to thank Commander Brian McMahon of the 101 Precinct and community leaders for bringing this matter to my attention, and the national retail chain for acting in a community-sensitive matter."

Sanders is a longtime fighter against gun violence. In January 2005, the City Council passed his historic legislation called the "Bullet Bill" (Intro 144- A), which prohibits anyone younger than 21 years old from buying ammunition. Sanders also led several marches to combat violence, including the "March for Life" on Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday in January of this year. Recently, Sanders launched an anti-gang initiative that would help educate and fight gang activity in his district. He is currently negotiating with other retail giants to get them to pull air pistols, BB guns and ammunition off local shelves, as well.

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