EAST ORANGE, NJ - East Orange Council Chair Ted Green joined Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver to testify during the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee Meeting on Thursday, September 22, 2016, to pass legislation to stop the sale of certain toy and imitation guns from being sold in New Jersey. In July 2015, this legislation was also passed by the East Orange City Council banning the sale of these toy guns from being sold within City limits. Spearheaded by Council Chair Ted Green, this legislation was passed with a vote of 9-1.
These certain toy guns can be mistaken for real firearms which can lead to a child being shot and killed. It was also noted by Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, that these kinds of toy and imitation firearms were used in several bank robberies in Union County several months ago making it not only a danger to children, but to adults and especially law enforcement who may have just seconds to distinguish the threat of a real gun or a toy.
This legislation comes on the heels of the tragic death of Tamir Rice, a 12 year old boy who was shot by police in a park in Cleveland, Ohio. It had been reported that a male was pointing a pistol at random people in the Cudell Recreation Center. Police were dispatched and upon their arrival, Tamir reached for the toy gun attached to his waistband. Seconds later he was shot dead by police.
This important legislation brought before the Law and Public Safety Committee would require any toy or imitation gun to be bright in color, not black as they are made now, also requiring the toy to be equipped with a barrel at least one inch in diameter that is closed at a distance of at least one-half inch from the front end of the barrel with the same material from which the toy gun or imitation firearm is made. A person who violates this act shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $500 for the first offense and not more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The bill passed the Committee and will be heard on the Senate floor in the coming weeks.