Thursday, July 12, 2007

N.J. Senator Seeks Ban On Toy Guns

(CBS/AP) TRENTON, N.J. A New Jersey senator wants to make it illegal to sell or give to anyone under age 18 toy guns that look so realistic they can be mistaken for a real firearm.

"The margin between a child's stupid mistake and a tragic ending is far too thin," said Sen. Nicholas Scutari.

Scutari, D-Union, introduced the proposal in late June and plans to push it when the Legislature reconvenes late this year. He said the bill stems from an incident in a Union Township where four students were suspended after bringing a cap gun to school.

"We need to stress to our children that guns are not toys, but deadly weapons which should always be regarded with extreme caution and handled with respect," Scutari said. "Restricting access to imitation firearms will help to drive that point home."

Gun rights advocates plan to fight the bill.

"It misses the mark because it demonizes toys instead of criminal behavior," said Scott Bach, president of the New Jersey Association of Rifle and Pistol Clubs, which is the National Rifle Association's New Jersey organization.

If the measures is enacted, New Jersey would join several states that have restricted access to realistic toy guns to minors.

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