Employees of an Annapolis, Md., video store called 911 when an 8-year-old boy who brandished a gold-colored gun that turned out to be a toy, declaring he was going to “stand this place up.” -The boy was charged in a juvenile citation with attempted armed robbery.
The Baltimore Sun reports that Annapolis Alderwoman Cynthia Carter wants all realistic-looking toy guns banned in the state capital. “If we are going to raise them with guns in their hands … what are we going to expect from them when they are older?” she said. Carter plans to introduce legislation in Annapolis modeled after New York City’s toy gun law. Since 1999, only toy guns that are transparent or bright in color are permitted in New York. A new proposal pending before the New York’s City Council would ban all toy guns in the city.
Lupe Todd, a spokeswoman for the New York City Council, said children and criminals have spray-painted, stained or taped the transparent or bright-colored toy guns to make them look real. New York’s proposed ban on all toy guns was inspired by an incident in January, when a 17-year-old male was killed by police officers after he pointed a realistic-looking BB gun at the head of an undercover officer, Todd said. This month, a woman was raped by an assailant who threatened her with a toy gun, she said.
Annapolis Alderman David Cordle, chief investigator with the Anne Arundel County state’s attorney’s office and chairman of the city council’s public safety committee, said he would oppose an all-out ban on toy guns in the state capital. “Children need to be children and we should allow them to be children, but conversely we should be good parents and educate them about guns and their dangerousness and what can happen when guns are mishandled or left out and not secured,” he said.
Federal law requires that toy guns have an orange cap on the end of the barrel, but in the instance of the Annapolis 8-year-old, the orange cap had been removed.