Toy gun (courtesy moretoyguns.com)

There ought to be a law about people who say there ought to be a law. In most cases, there already is a law or a new law would do sweet FA to solve the targeted problem. Exhibit A: the Atlantic City Council has banned toy guns. “The ordinance, introduced by all of council and initiated by Police Lt. James Sarkos, bans the sale, possession or use of any imitation firearms — except for non-firing antiques and film prop guns — which aren’t in bright, flourescent colors or transparent,” pressofatlanticcity.com reports . . .

Pistols that use metal caps are banned from being sold to minors. ‘We’ve gotten a lot of phone calls from D.C. and Philadelphia,’ [Councilman George] Tibbitt said. ‘This is catching on. This may be saying some lives,’ [Council President William] Marsh said.” May? How? Where? When? Why? Would it have stopped the robber above? And the gun grabbers claim common sense. There ought to be a law!

46 Responses to Have a Toy Gun in Atlantic City? Go to Jail.

  1. Laws that do nothing are a waste of time and resources. In a perfect world they would be automatically repealed. This anti firearms (even fake) hysteria in some parts of the country is becoming scary stupid. I would say they went full retard.

    • These laws, like all laws, aren’t really written to accomplish a goal. They are designed to further some kiss @ss politicians career. They can say, “See, I’m just like you, I hate guns too and I’m going to stick it to the knuckle dragging gun lovers, Huzzaa!”.

      We ought to replace voting with a lottery, we end up with better government.

  2. OK toy guns are now illegal. I tell them wht, I would go buy a toy gun. I will just bring my real ones there. 🙂

  3. If the laws prohibiting the underlying illegal activities(murder, robbery, assault etc) that can be committed without a weapon aren’t stopping people from committing these crimes, then how will this law fare any better and, if it actually works, how will it stop people from breaking those other laws?

  4. Democrats think they can control everyone, doing everything, except the activities they themselves want to do, and I won’t get into that! I guess my father, my brother, myself, my children and grandchildren would all go to jail or have to pay a “get out of jail fine” but we would never live in Atlantic City and only visited there for a few hours when younger.

  5. The exact opposite of common sense.
    Just like school districts calling water guns ‘weapons’ when no written definition of weapon has ever stated that something appearing scary is suitable for it to be classified as such.

  6. I am not in the least bit surprised. Its NJ. Lets just say that I will not be surprised when there’s a story posted about some guy getting arrested for talking about how it went at the range with his buddy, followed shortly by a story of a guy getting arrested because it looked like he was thinking about a gun.
    NJ where it costs $20/hr on average with a membership for range time. Don’t even think of drawing from holster unless you have passed a class or have competed in a sanctioned event and can prove it…..

    • lol you must be from around here. Where are you shooting that it is so cheap? I spent 60$ just to shoot 100 rounds through a ruger mark 2. No I’m not even kidding.

  7. We should concede the battle for gun rights, and introduce a law that would ban all new gun sales, but allow for unrestricted access to “personal safety devices”. Which would be functionally identical to guns, but never referred to as such, and they could be whatever color you like.

    Efforts like the law in this article show that the opposition is in hysterics about guns as a “brand” and an idea and their ire is completely shallow and irrational. If they are truly satisfied by getting rid of black pieces of plastic and metal then I say we give them what they want and all move on to pink “personal safety devices”. Something like that sadly might work.

  8. Next, banning drawings of guns, articles about guns, internet access to pictures of guns…
    Full retard indeed.
    Am I ever glad I don’t live anywhere near there.

  9. So, what did they do with all the children who currently own toy guns? Grandfathered their use or do they have to turn them in to the city council during a gun buy back.
    There is just no end to the lack of common sense in the gun control world is there?

      • This is pretty close to a non-issue. All old toy guns (AirSofts, BB and pellet) would get taped with the appropriate color. 3M would make a little money at parents’ expense. Grandpa’s cigar lighter appearing to be a 1911 wouldn’t be affected provided it was kept indoors (and packed in boxes when the family moves). If the kids take it outside to play, then it too gets taped.
        If a faux gun is used in a school stage play or on a movie set it would be covered by an exemption.
        I don’t mean to suggest that I’ve covered the entire territory here. That deserves some careful thought by all interested participants. Gun users, many of whom are parents or grandparents. A few of whom were once children themselves. A couple representatives from community theater groups. Representatives from Hollywood.
        My argument here is that we PotG are cheerfully grousing in our beer while legislation is moving through city councils and State capitals. We will all live with what they decide is for our own good. Is that what we prefer?

  10. There have been a few reports of people being killed by police while carrying toy guns or BB guns. Not a lot; but, a few. There are two worthwhile approaches to this problem of mis-identifying a toy for a real gun or vice versa. (A criminal might mark a real gun with orange tape in an attempt to get the drop on a cop by making him hesitate for a second or two before realizing that the gun really isn’t a toy.)
    First, cops need to train to be more discriminating. Just because it looks like a gun doesn’t mean it IS a real gun It might be a toy or just a BB gun. Or, just an old man getting his cane out from the back of his pickup truck. Second, even if it is a gun, that in and of itself doesn’t mean that the holder has hostile intent. Just because he doesn’t respond to orders doesn’t imply hostile intent. He might have ear-buds in his ears or he might be confused. Especially so if it’s a youngster who knows it’s only a toy. (This admonition applies to us as civilians as well as to cops. A child pointing a toy gun at us needs to be identified as playing, not a real threat.)
    Second, we gun users ought to think about about distinguishing markings for toys, AirSofts, BB guns and pellet guns. It just doesn’t make sense to go about with a toy or non-firearm that isn’t instantly recognizable as such. Why should we put ourselves at risk or let our children play at risk? I’m not here suggesting any specifics (such as an orange marking for toys/AirSofts vs. red markings for BB and pellet guns) as a best-practice. Working out a color scheme deserves more thought.
    Here is the issue: Who should WE want to work-out these best-practices? Our legislators? Or, ourselves? If we don’t discuss/debate/design a set of best practices our legislators will do it for us. And, we will deserve what they give us.
    Ultimately, we ought to seek support from our legislators in implementing – by a law -our best-practices design. It ought to be a felony to decorate a real firearm with markings reserved for toys and BB/pellet guns. It ought to be a misdemeanor with a token fine to bear-in-public or to sell a toy or BB/pellet gun not bearing the designated marking.
    I anticipate the absolutists to argue that “shall not be infringed” protects our constitutional right to decorate our guns with orange tape on the barrel tips. I regard this as silly. The absolutists might also argue that it is an infringement on unenumerated rights to require designated markings on toys or BB/pellet guns. I have a little more respect for this argument. I’m not much bothered by laws promoting a well-thought-out best practice with a token fine to put some teeth behind it. Manufacturers will fall into line on new products pretty quickly. Parents will buy and apply colored tape to existing inventories purely out of consideration for their children’s safety once they are given to understand that this is a best-practice and get a warning or two.
    If we develop such a best practice we may save a couple of civilian lives per year. We may also reduce the likelihood that criminals will try to get the drop on cops with false markings on illegally-carried guns. I think these objectives would would be worthwhile.

    • Or send cops to jail if they shoot anyone with a toy gun (or anyone without a weapon), like any non-cop would be punished.

      • Right idea, but it’s tough to implement. The rules-of-engagement are – theoretically – fairly nearly the same for cops vs. non-cops. (One exception is that it’s the cop’s job to pursue trouble; but, pursuit by a civilian is apt to work harshly against him.) So, whatever we would do to toughen the rules-of-engagement would tend to be applied to civilians; not necessarily to cops. I think the problem is not so much in rules-of-engagement.
        The problem with cops’ use-of-force is more-so institutional. The investigating body is intimately associated with the cop being investigated. The prosecutor’s office is closely associated with the police institution. The judge is part of the criminal justice system cheek-by-joul with the institutions of police and prosecutors. Throughout this process, the cop is eligible for every benefit of the doubt before a decision is made to proceed with a trial in open court with opportunity for cross-examination. Mind you, I don’t think that Internal Affairs, the prosecutor or judge gives-a-damn about Officer Joe Friday who killed someone (unless he were literally a member of the choir). Their bias is apt to be to protect their institutions and the criminal justice system as a whole. Giving Joe his just deserts does damage to the institutions doing the investigation, prosecution and trial.
        When a non-cop uses force he is investigated by a neutral 3’rd party, the police. The decision to prosecute is made by a neutral 3’rd party. The questions of law that occur in the trial are made by a neutral 3’rd party.
        (I’m trying to describe the differences here as objectively as possible. Feel free to criticize any way you like.)
        I think it is far more important to examine the institutions of the police and prosecutors to introduce more independence into their processes. What, if anything, might be done to promote an unbiased investigation and prosecution decision? If something could be done here, then it would impact on police departmental training and rules-of-engagement. That would accomplish something.
        We need to be wary of popularizing the decision to persecute police; that very quickly turns into a lynch-mob system of criminal justice. Ferguson, and plenty of other cases, are clear illustrations. If we don’t approach this problem very thoughtfully we will more likely drive the better cops from police careers leaving the worse cops on patrol.

        • You are picking at a classification nit that isn’t relevant to the question at hand.
          I acknowledge your classification nit IS relevant in another context; it’s just not relevant in this context.
          To the context relevant to your nit. I’ve reflected on the distinction the founding fathers seemed to make between the military and civilians. Bear in mind that, at that time, there was little-to-no such-thing as the “police” as we know them today. So, the founding fathers had no opportunity to fit the “police” into their bifurcated structure of civilian/military classes.
          I think that the founding fathers saw that the military institution that they knew was answerable to the king (executive); perhaps to a lesser extent, to Parliament (legislature). As such, the military was to be distrusted. Usually, soldiers were the dregs of society who would serve a lifetime in the military or return to the prisons (gallows) to which they were ultimately destined. Hence, their loyalty to the hand that fed them was pretty strong.
          In contrast, the militia of our founding fathers’ era was drawn from 3/8’ths or so of the People (able-bodied males of military age were probably 3/8’ths or so.) When any necessary fighting ended these would promptly return to their farms and shops and answer to their neighbors for their conduct.
          I perceive something of a reversal in relationships today. Most of our soldiers do a hitch or two and then return to civilian life. Their loyalty to their commander-in-chief is tempered by their expected return to civilian life. In contrast, a cop usually expects to serve a 20 – 30 – 40 year career in the Law Enforcement profession. He sees himself as answerable to a chief/sheriff with a promotion path – or not.
          If – and to the extent – I’m on to something here, then (in the context relative to your nit) this could be a pretty important consideration for our civil society. In this context, we might be dealing with a more than a nit.
          Maybe our founding fathers would construe our:
          – police institutions as they viewed their military; and,
          – military institutions much as they were beloved of their militias.
          If so, that would be pretty scary.

    • How about giving the Atlantic City cops Airsoft guns instead. The city is shutting down anyway, so there’s nothing left of any value to steal.

  11. Atlantic City is crumbling — literally. Casino’s are closing down causing a massive loss in jobs, crime is rampant, the tax base is decimated and they are asking for money from the state and this — this is the most important thing on their agenda? Another feel good law that will solve absolutely no problem.

  12. Need to paint my guns florescence colors. That’ll give me the jump on the bad guys. Or maybe criminal should paint their guns. That would give them to jump on the police. It’s all starting to sound like something out of the Wizard of Oz.

  13. Gee a guy robs with a banana. The lowlifes in Chicago are already using toy guns. And all you need is some black paint for your neon handguns. Why you could carve one out of wood or soap:-)

  14. There are reasons for these laws. It may help prevent kids from running around with realistic guns from getting shot, for one. Another is that criminals use imitation guns in crime. Now, I know what you’re thinking: they’re going to do it anyway. True, but when they get patted down because they’re loitering around a bank and a cop finds them in possession of one of these it helps to have a law against it.

    Is it worth new legislation? Eh. But I’m more concerned about that state’s law against actual firearms, since I don’t think fake firearms are included in the 2nd…

    • You are absolutely right! On both counts.
      Are we PotG going to maintain that we have a right – a GOD-given RIGHT! – guaranteed by the 2A, to decorate our barrels with orange tape? Are we simpletons? How many of us are simpletons? In my opinion, there is no natural right to decorate our arms for self-defense with orange tape/paint. None of us is keenly interested in doing so; there is no well-established pattern and practice of doing so. There is no substantial investment in orange-colored barrels that would have to be rectified.
      There may be few (perhaps none) cases of criminals decorating their real guns with orange tape/paint. Yet. Seems like a good idea to me. If a few more criminals do so, what will our policemen do? They will get the picture. They will not put any faith-or-credit in orange decoration. Who will suffer? Our KIDS, damn-it!
      This is one obvious place for legislation. Make it a harshly-punished felony to possess a real gun marked as a faux-gun. It strikes me as eminently fair to infer criminal intent from such possession.
      We want to promote the right to bear arms for lawful self-defense. If that’s what we want then we must be prepared to support laws that prohibit irresponsible bearing of arms. I’d like to see a plausible and substantive argument articulated for why we need to defend decorating our arms with orange tape/paint.

      Toys are not arms. AirSoft guns are not arms. BB guns and pellet guns are in a middle-ground between toys and fire-arms. Will promoting the practice of decorating toys and quasi-arms with distinctive marks promote public safety? Maybe to some extent. Is the cost bearable? Upon whom does this cost fall? Primarily, it falls on parents.
      I see a social convention – more-so than a law – as being a worthwhile idea. It is just as worth-while an idea as muzzle discipline; and a lot easier to implement. If it’s backed-up by a $5 fine, that’s OK by me. Some of you will claim that you believe it won’t save even one child; nor, for that matter, not even one young father. You are – of course – entitled to your opinion.
      What about the political aspect of this decision? What image do we PotG want to project to non-gun-users in society? Those that vote for or against gun-control/-rights legislators? Do we want to show that we are thinking responsibly about this issue? That we have ideas for how parents can protect their children when playing with guns? Do we want to show parents that we want their children to distinguish clearly between toy guns and real guns? Toy are for play and may be pointed at other children while real guns are not for play and muzzle-discipline rules apply to real guns?
      Some of us care little or not-at-all for the impressions we make on non-gun owners; you know, those folks who vote for gun-control/-rights legislators. I don’t count myself among these. Commenters on these blogs who are circumspect about OC don’t count themselves among these.

  15. Every time I read about one of these asinine efforts promulgated by the government, I always think years back and hear in crystal clear surround sound my own voice, or that of my older brother, or those of our peers, shouting “New rule!” in response to the latest and lamest perceived grievance among us.

    That’s followed by something like someone producing a roll of toilet paper and dividing the bedroom down the middle(ish) to everyone’s momentary satisfaction. That is, until each realizes that the door to the hallway is on one side and the door to the bathroom is on the other.

    Sparking a new round of exploitations and recriminations, then comes the inevitable downward spiral of ever more complex and silly solutions to childish problems and more “New rule!” pronouncements, when the classic DBAD rule at the start would have worked as the one rule to, well, rule them all.

    In fairness, we were what, about eight and ten years old? What’s the Atlantic City Council’s excuse?

  16. ” ‘This is catching on. This may be saying some lives,’ [Council President William] Marsh said.”

    Watch out whenever a gun-control person uses the words ‘may be, or ‘might’ or ‘could’ or any other form of conjecture, versus ‘will’ or ‘is’ or some other verb indicating that it definitely will or is happening. You can be sure that it probably ‘will not’.
    If they could speak more definitively, they would. Since there is no evidence to support what they are saying, the best they can say is that it ‘may’, ‘might’ or ‘could’ happen. In other words, they are lying to you, and they know they are lying.

    • Can we jettison NJ, DC and CA and sent them off to the other side of the respective ocean? This would be laughable if it wasn’t serious. It falls squarely under “You can’t make this sh1t up.”

      The City Council should be ashamed of themselves at wasting public money on such abject silliness, and Police Lt. James Sarkos should resign immediately due to mental problems.

  17. Hello, as an atlantic city resident and avid airsoft player, I agree with this law. On the boardwalk, every other store sells cheap, realistic looking bb guns. The intended market is the same as the gram scales and dime sized plastic bags also sold in those stores. It’s not good for the airsoft community, or any community.

  18. We played with toy guns that were incredibly real. Swing out cylinders, BB guns that were functional down to revolving cylinders.
    I brought back airsoft guns from Japan that didn’t have the red tips. Sold them here for a huge premium.

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