Wal-Mart, Sears in alleged illegal toy gun crackdown

Major retailers are illegally selling prohibited toy guns online, the N.Y Attorney General's office alleged Thursday.

Eric Schneiderman's office sent cease and desist letters to the retailers (Wal-Mart, Amazon.com, K-Mart, Sears and ToyArsenal.com) to halt sales of these toy guns to New Yorkers immediately. One K-Mart also sold these guns in a Rochester, New York, location, the office alleged.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman
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New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

"Once this matter was brought to our attention we placed a shipping block on our website to prevent the mentioned items from being sent to the state of New York. We're also confident that measures are in place to prevent these items from being sold at our New York stores," Wal-Mart said in a statement.

"The safety of our customers is a top priority. We are in the process of immediately removing any non-compliant toy guns that are offered for sale by Sears or Kmart to New York consumers. We will fully cooperate with the New York Attorney General in its investigation," Sears said in a statement.

New York state law prohibits retailers from selling guns in realistic colors unless it has one-inch-wide orange stripe running down both sides of the barrel and the front end of the barrel that cannot be removed.

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"When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences," Schneiderman said in a release. "New York State law is clear: retailers cannot put children and law enforcement at risk by selling toy guns that are virtually indistinguishable from the real thing."

Wal-Mart already had a court order prohibiting it from selling toy guns after an earlier investigation of the chain's in-store toy gun sales.