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Department of Consumer Affairs
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Press Releases

July 11, 2003


The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) today announced an agreement with The Sports Authority, Inc., in which the company will pay $20,000 in fines to the City to settle charges of selling, and offering to sell, imitation guns at the store's two Queens locations. DCA charged Sports Authority on October 24, 2002 with violating the New York City Public Safety Law. In addition to Sports Authority, DCA has cited eight other stores citywide for similar violations.

"We are pleased that Sports Authority will no longer be selling toy guns that look like the real thing in New York City," said DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra. "Imitation guns create an extremely dangerous, possibly fatal, situation for both police and the public. We continue to aggressively seek out other stores that are breaking the law and will take action accordingly."

DCA spotted the Kingman Spyder Semi-Automatic series paintball gun offered for sale in an advertisement placed by The Sports Authority in the New York Daily News on Thursday, October 17, 2002. The stores sold Tippman Power Pack 98 Custom as well as the Viewloader VL Revelation semi-automatic. The surface of the Kingman Spyder shown on the Sports Authority web site, as well as similar guns purchased in the stores by DCA, were either predominantly black, dark blue or gray, not the brighter colors required by law. DCA found at least ten imitation guns on display for sale at both Sports Authority stores.

In addition to Sports Authority, DCA has cited the following stores for similar violations:

  • PARTY CITY, Queens (all New York City locations; 2,210 violations combined)
  • PARTY FAIR, Brooklyn (285 violations)
  • BOZO'S ARMY AND NAVY STORE, Staten Island (40 violations)
  • RICKY'S, Manhattan (2 locations; 34 violations combined)
  • TEC ONE SPY SHOP, Brooklyn (28 violations)
  • VILLAGE PAPER, INC., Manhattan (19 violations) - settled with DCA.
  • ABRACADABRA d/b/a Great American Masquerade, Manhattan (13 violations)
  • STATEN ISLAND PAINTBALL CENTER, Staten Island (4 violations)

Under New York City Public Safety Law Section 10-131, it is unlawful for "any person to sell or offer to sell, possess or use or attempt to use or give away, any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates, or can reasonably be perceived to be, an actual firearm unless the entire exterior surface of such toy or imitation firearm is colored white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern."

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, contact the DCA at 311 or online at