More changes coming in New York for toy guns. They can no longer be made in black or several other colors to avoid mistaking them for the real thing.

Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to strengthen restrictions on imitation weapons, which can be used to commit crimes. The new law makes imitation weapons easily identifiable, preventing them from being used to commit crimes and allowing law enforcement to identify a device as fake when assessing threats.

"My top priority as governor is keeping New Yorkers safe, and that means cracking down on devices used to commit crime," Governor Hochul said. "Restricting these realistic-looking devices will ensure misleading and potentially dangerous devices are off our streets, keeping kids, law enforcement and all New Yorkers safe."

Easily Identified Guns

Legislation banned the design and sale of realistic-looking toy guns in New York in 2021. The law not only prohibited the design or sale of toy guns, but it also banned anyone other than a licensed gunsmith or dealer from owning unfinished frames or receivers and banned sales of ghost guns.

The new legislation clarifies that permissible imitation weapons must be easily identifiable. Toy guns can no longer be black, blue, silver, or aluminum, making them hard to identify as real or fake. They must all now be either white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, bright purple, or be made entirely of transparent or translucent materials.

While certain imitation weapons are prohibited by certain municipalities, like New York City, this new law will create consistency throughout the state.

There is an exception to the rule. Imitation weapons can still be used in theatrical productions.

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Imitation Gun Shootings

There have been at least 63 shootings in New York State as a result of imitation weapons being mistaken for the real thing, according to the Office of the Attorney General. Eight of those shootings ended in fatalities and hundreds of crimes have been committed in New York City with imitation weapons.

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