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News & Editorials

Toy Gun Ban Introduced on the Federal Level

by Angel Shamaya
January 31, 2001


Click Here to Visit Mr. Brilliant's Website
Rep. Towns

U.S. Representative Edolphus "Ed" Towns (D-NY, Brooklyn, Congressional District 10) has introduced legislation to "ban toys which in size, shape or overall appearance resemble real handguns." This is the same Ed Towns who took a stand that the Texas penal system shouldn't execute that poor black rapist and murderer, Gary Graham, who was convicted of killing a citizen in cold blood but lingered in the appeal process for 18 years. (Then Texas Governor Bush denied poor Mr. Graham's pardon and they put him to sleep -- 18 years too late.)

Ed Towns defends rapists and murderers while also telling us we need to ban toys.

Let's do a quick Reality Check by looking at some numbers here for a moment, for the record:

Accidental Death Rates for Children (ages 0-14)




Motor Vehicle  3,059
Drowning  1,060
Fires, burns     833
Mechanical Suffocation     459
Ingestion of Food or Object     213
Firearms     181
Figures are for 1995. National Safety Council, Accident Facts: 1998 Edition, at 10, 11, 18.

Considering how many children are dying as a result of the improper use of cars, water, fire, suffocation, food and even real guns -- and considering the fact that toy guns aren't mentioned there, at all -- one must wonder what Rep. Towns might be seeking to achieve. In fact, while we do occasionally hear about a toy gun being misused and someone getting hurt, the instances are so rare they often make national headlines -- because they are no less than sensational.

I called Rep. Towns' offices to see if I could get him on the phone and was told that "there is a process you must go through to reach him."  "Okay, great. Pretty please put me on the phone with whoever I need to speak with so I can get a statement about the need to ban toys." I was sent to another office, where I was allowed to leave a message for Karen Johnson, presumably Ed's press secretary. I hope she calls back to explain the dire need for a federal ban on toys. If she does, I'll print their statements unedited.

Meanwhile, following is what looks like the shortest bill ever to grace the Halls of Congress. Quite simple, really. Ban toys. Read it for yourself below, and feel free to contact your U.S. Representative to voice your opinion.

Text of the Toy Gun Ban bill, as taken from:  (.pdf file here)

To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toys which in size, shape, or overall appearance resemble real handguns. (Introduced in the House)


1st Session

H. R. 215

To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toys which in size, shape, or overall appearance resemble real handguns.


January 3, 2001

Mr. TOWNS introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


To require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban toys which in size, shape, or overall appearance resemble real handguns.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


    The Consumer Product Safety Commission shall promulgate a rule in accordance with section 9 of the Consumer Product Safety Act (15 U.S.C. 2058) to declare as a banned hazardous product under section 8 any toy which in size, shape, or overall appearance resembles a real handgun.


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