Legislation bans imitation weapons unless they are brightly colored or completely constructed of translucent materials
Gov. Kathy Hochul has signed legislation (S.687/A.3998) to strengthen restrictions on imitation weapons, which can be used to commit crimes.
Her team said, “The new law makes imitation weapons easily identifiable, preventing them from being used to commit crimes, and allowing law enforcement to identify a device as fake when assessing threats.”
"My top priority as governor is keeping New Yorkers safe, and that means cracking down on devices used to commit crime," Hochul said. "Restricting these realistic-looking devices will ensure misleading and potentially dangerous devices are off our streets, keeping kids, law enforcement and all New Yorkers safe."
Again, her team said, “This new law strengthens existing restrictions on imitation weapons by clarifying that permissible imitation weapons must be easily identifiable: They cannot be black, blue, silver or aluminum, and must be colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, bright purple, or be made entirely of transparent or translucent materials. While certain imitation weapons are prohibited by certain municipalities, like New York City, this new law will create consistency throughout the state. Limited common-sense exceptions for special use, such as imitation weapons used in theatrical productions, are permitted.”
According to data released by the Office of the Attorney General, there have been at least 63 shootings in New York state as a result of individuals mistaking imitation weapons for real firearms, eight of which have resulted in fatalities, and hundreds of crimes have been committed in New York City with imitation weapons.
Earlier this month, Hochul announced a 93% increase use of the “Red Flag Law” by law enforcement as part of ongoing efforts to combat increased gun violence throughout the state. She also formed the Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns, which has been successful in combatting the transportation of illegal guns across state lines.
Assembly member Tom Abinanti said, "Too many people have been killed or injured, and too many crimes committed, because a toy gun looked real. I applaud Gov. Kathy Hochul's recognizing how this new law will make our communities safer by setting uniform statewide standards to ensure toy or imitation weapons are unmistakably an imitation or toy. Real guns that are misused are a big problem – we don't need the problem compounded by toy guns that look real."