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Department of Consumer Affairs
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Press Releases

July 23, 2003


The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today announced that Party City stores agreed to stop selling imitation firearms in New York City and paid $150,000 to resolve charges that they violated the City's prohibition against selling toy guns that appear to be real guns.

The toy guns, sporting names like "Uzi weapon set," "Colt 45 Gun," and "AK47 Rifle," were variously colored black, silver, and camouflage and were not the assorted bright colors required by law. Undercover DCA inspectors cited two specific Party City locations for selling imitation guns. In response to a DCA subpoena, Party City produced records showing that as many as 2,210 toy guns that resembled actual firearms were offered for sale in their eleven New York City stores.

"These toy guns are dangerous because they can so easily be mistaken for the real thing," said DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra. "We are pleased that Party City took responsibility and stopped selling toy guns that resemble real firearms. DCA will continue to vigorously pursue stores that sell these hazardous toys."
On July 11, 2003, DCA announced an agreement with The Sports Authority, Inc. which also had been cited for selling imitation guns. The agency also cited the following stores citywide for similar violations:

  • ABRACADABRA d/b/a Great American Masquerade, Manhattan (13 violations)
  • BOZO’S ARMY AND NAVY STORE, Staten Island (40 violations)
  • PARTY FAIR, Brooklyn (285 violations)
  • RICKY’S, Manhattan (2 locations; 34 violations combined. Settled with DCA)
  • STATEN ISLAND PAINTBALL CENTER, Staten Island (4 violations)
  • TEC ONE SPY SHOP, Brooklyn (28 violations)
  • VILLAGE PAPER, INC., Manhattan (19 violations. Settled with DCA)

Under New York City Public Safety Law Section 10-131(g), it is against the law to sell or offer to sell any toy or imitation firearm that can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm unless the entire exterior surface of the imitation firearm is brightly colored. The range of acceptable colors does not include black, silver or camouflage.

DCA enforces the consumer protection laws and other related laws at thousands of businesses throughout New York City. Fostering a marketplace where consumers are protected and businesses can thrive, DCA licenses more than 60,000 businesses in 55 different categories in New York City. Through free community seminars, licensing forums, and other informational materials, DCA educates consumers and businesses alike about their rights and responsibilities. To file a complaint or obtain more information, dial 311 or contact the DCA online at