The New York State Attorney General’s Office announced a settlement with major retail stores that will further ban the sale of realistic-looking toy guns.  He also announced a successful shake down of stores such as Walmart, Sears, and Amazon for roughly $300,000 in civil penalties for past sales.

Via the Free Beacon:

New York is forcing Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers to pay over $300,000 for the crime of selling toy guns.

The settlement stems from an investigation by the state’s attorney general office, which sent cease and desist letters to the retailers in December for breaking its strict law against children’s toys.

“State law prohibits the sale of imitation guns in realistic colors such as black, blue, silver, or aluminum, unless it has a non-removable one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel,” according to the attorney general office. All fake toy guns must be neon colored in New York City.

Walmart, Amazon, K-Mart, Sears, and ToyArsenal.com were all targeted by the state. The settlement was announced by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Monday, and will carry “collective civil penalties of more than $300,000,” the New York Times reported.

In Schnedierman’s press release, it is alleged that four deaths have occurred in New York State since 1997 due to toy guns being mistaken for the real thing.

One of the toy gun sellers, ToyArsenal.com, has added the following disclaimer to their site.

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Toy guns have been targeted more frequently in recent years.

In California, one activist began pushing a toy gun buyback program, exchanging teddy bears for the plastic ‘weapons.’

During last school year, an upstate New York school averted a ‘very serious gun threat‘ when administrators swiftly dealt with an 8-year-old boy who had told a classmate that he was going to shoot them … with a Lego gun … no bigger than a quarter.  The school’s social worker and principal were called into action, disarming the boy and punishing him with a lunch-time detention which then led to a one-day suspension.

Whether or not toy gun laws are effective is a matter of much debate.  Any child wishing to have a realistic looking gun could tape or paint over the markings.  If that were the case, would that child now be charged with a crime for violating New York’s toy gun laws?  Would the retailer still be held accountable and forced to pay civil penalties?