senate Bill S653

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Conforms state law with federal law regarding imitation weapons and provides a private right of action for individual consumers

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to consumer protection
Jan 09, 2013 referred to consumer protection

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S653 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง871 & 873, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1668
2009-2010: S118A

S653 - Bill Texts

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Conforms state law with federal law regarding imitation weapons; empowers the attorney general to enforce federal standards and provides a private right of action against retailers by individual consumers injured due to the sale of a non-conforming toy gun.

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BILL NUMBER:S653

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to the sale of imitation
weapons

PURPOSE:
This legislation conforms state law with federal law
regarding imitation weapons that resemble actual firearms. It permits
the Attorney General to bring forth actions against any person,
organization or firm violating any measure of this article. It also
provides consumers with a private right of action.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The General Business Law is amended to
conform state law to federal law, enabling the Attorney General to
enforce federal standards and compliance by retailers and
manufacturers. Specifically, Section 871 subdivision3 2(a), (b), {c)
and (d) are amended to clarify the definition of imitation weapons. A
new subdivision is added to section 873 to provide individual
consumers with a private right of action This right of action would
not include cases where a person is injured while committing or
engaging in an unlawful activity.

JUSTIFICATION:

An alarming trend of criminal activity such as burglaries, robberies,
hostage situations and confrontations with police has employed the
use of imitation weapons. Despite current state law which makes it
illegal to manufacture or sell imitation weapons resembling actual
firearms, New Yorkers continue to have access to them. As a result,
individuals are dying needlessly at the hands of police officers who
mistake these imitation weapons for actual firearms.

This legislation not only encourages compliance by retailers and
manufacturers, but empowers the State Attorney General to actively
enforce federal standards. In addition, it provides individual
consumers injured due to the sale of a non-conforming imitation gun a
private right of action to sue the retailer for damages. In addition,
this measure will help to reduce the threat of crimes committed using
and incidents of fatalities by imitation weapons.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
S.3113 of 2007
02/23/08 REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
S 1668 of 2011
01/11/11 REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
01/04/12 REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Unknown at present time.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
Unknown at present time.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall become
law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   653

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation  to  the  sale  of
  imitation weapons

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 871 of the general  business  law,
as  added  by  chapter  475  of  the laws of 1988, is amended to read as
follows:
  2. "Imitation weapon" means any device  or  object  made  of  plastic,
wood,  metal or any other material which substantially duplicates or can
reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm, air rifle, pellet  gun,
or  "B-B"  gun;  unless such imitation weapon (a) is colored [other than
black, blue, silver or aluminum, (b)  is  marked  with  a  non-removable
orange  stripe  which  is at least one inch in width and runs the entire
length of the barrel on each side and the front end of the  barrel,  and
(c)  has  a  barrel  at  least one inch in diameter that is closed for a
distance of not less than one-half inch from the front-end of its barrel
with the same material of which the imitation  weapon  is  made]  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;  (B)  HAS  PERMANENTLY
AFFIXED  TO  THE  MUZZLE,  A BLAZE ORANGE PLUG INSERTED IN THE BARREL OF
SUCH IMITATION FIREARM. SUCH PLUG SHALL BE RECESSED  NO  MORE  THAN  SIX
MILLIMETERS  FROM  THE  MUZZLE END OF THE BARREL OF SUCH FIREARM; (C) IS
CONSTRUCTED ENTIRELY  OF  TRANSPARENT  OR  TRANSLUCENT  MATERIALS  WHICH
PERMITS  UNMISTAKABLE  OBSERVATION OF THE DEVICE'S COMPLETE CONTENTS; OR
(D) HAS A BLAZE ORANGE  MARKING  PERMANENTLY  AFFIXED  TO  THE  EXTERIOR
SURFACE OF THE BARREL, COVERING THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE BARREL FROM THE
MUZZLE  END  FOR  DEPTH OF AT LEAST SIX MILLIMETERS.  "Imitation weapon"

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02084-01-3

S. 653                              2

does not include any TRADITIONAL B-B, PAINT BALL, OR  PELLET-FIRING  AIR
GUN  THAT  EXPELS  A PROJECTILE THROUGH THE FORCE OF AIR PRESSURE OR ANY
nonfiring replica of an antique  firearm,  the  original  of  which  was
designed,  manufactured  and  produced prior to eighteen hundred ninety-
eight.
  S 2. Section 873 of the general business law, as added by chapter  475
of the laws of 1988, is amended to read as follows:
  S  873.  Enforcement.  1.  Whenever the attorney general shall believe
from evidence satisfactory to him OR HER that any person,  firm,  corpo-
ration  or  association  or  agent  or employee thereof has violated any
provision of this article, he OR SHE may  bring  an  action  or  special
proceeding in the supreme court for a judgment enjoining the continuance
of  such violation and for a civil penalty of not more than one thousand
dollars for each violation. If it shall appear to  the  satisfaction  of
the  court  or  justice that the defendant has violated any provision of
this article, no proof shall  be  required  that  any  person  has  been
injured  thereby  nor  that  the  defendant  knowingly  or intentionally
violated such provision. In such action preliminary relief may be grant-
ed under article sixty-three of the civil practice  law  and  rules.  In
connection  with  any such proposed application, the attorney general is
authorized to take proof, issue subpoenas and administer  oaths  in  the
manner provided in the civil practice law and rules.
  2.  IN ADDITION TO ANY ACTION GRANTED TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL PURSUANT
TO THIS ARTICLE, ANY PERSON WHO  HAS  BEEN  INJURED  BY  REASON  OF  ANY
VIOLATION  OF THIS ARTICLE; OTHER THAN A PERSON INJURED WHILE COMMITTING
OR ENGAGING IN AN UNLAWFUL ACTIVITY; MAY BRING AN ACTION IN HIS  OR  HER
OWN  NAME  TO ENJOIN SUCH UNLAWFUL ACT OR PRACTICE, AN ACTION TO RECOVER
HIS OR HER ACTUAL DAMAGES OR TWO HUNDRED  FIFTY  DOLLARS,  WHICHEVER  IS
GREATER,  OR  BOTH SUCH ACTIONS. THE COURT MAY, IN ITS DISCRETION, AWARD
THE PREVAILING PLAINTIFF IN SUCH ACTION A PENALTY  UP  TO  ONE  THOUSAND
DOLLARS,  IF  THE  COURT  FINDS  THE  DEFENDANT  WILLFULLY AND KNOWINGLY
VIOLATED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. THE COURT MAY AWARD  REASONABLE
ATTORNEY'S FEES TO A PREVAILING PLAINTIFF.
  S  3.  This  act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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