New restrictions on imitation weapons on the books in New York State

ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — A new law is on the books in the Empire State, aiming to crackdown on realistic-looking imitation weapons.

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation S.687/A.3998 into law Tuesday. The goal of the new law is to make imitation weapons easily identifiable to keep kids, law enforcement and others safe.

Imitation weapons can no longer be black, blue, silver or aluminum.

The fake weapons can now be identified with the colors white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, bright purple or made entirely of transparent or translucent materials.

The governor’s office said the legislation will create a consistent standard for what’s permissible in municipalities across the state. However, there are exceptions, like the use of realistic imitation weapons in theatrical productions.

There have been 63 shootings, eight of which were deadly, across New York State because someone mistook an imitation weapon for a gun, according to the NYS Office of the Attorney General.

“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.”

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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