ALBANY, N.Y.  (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants retailers to stop selling toy guns that are nearly indistinguishable from real firearms.

Schneiderman’s office announced Thursday that letters were sent to Walmart, Amazon, Kmart and Sears telling them to follow a state law intended to ensure that toy guns aren’t mistaken for the real thing.

READ MORE: In-Person Races Resume In NYC With New York Mini 10K

The law says toy guns cannot be sold in realistic colors unless they bear an orange stripe on the barrel.

Schneiderman’s office conducted an investigation that found many retailers selling prohibited toy guns online and shipping them into the state, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.

The toys were sold online, and in one case, at a Rochester-area Kmart, according to Schneiderman’s office.

“When toy guns are mistaken for real guns, there can be tragic consequences,” Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman’s office sent cease-and-desist letters to Kmart, Sears Walmart, Amazon, and demanding they immediately stop the in-store and online sale of the illegal toy guns to New Yorkers, Sanchez reported.

A Walmart spokesman said the company will work with Schneiderman to ensure compliance.

READ MORE: Vinyl Lovers Flock To NYC Shops For Record Store Day

The move comes after a 12-year-old Ohio boy with a pellet gun was fatally shot by police.

“The risk of tragedy is simply too great when children play with toys that appear to be real firearms,” Schneiderman said.

Eugene O’Donnell, a former NYPD officer and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the retailers’ role is critical.

“This isn’t just a police issue,” he said. “We’ve got pistol permit holders, off-duty federal agents, all kinds of people in the city who could see a toy weapon and misconstrue it and have tragic results.”

According to the attorney general, four people have been killed in New York state and one child seriously injured when law enforcement officers mistook toy guns for real guns, Sanchez reported.

You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
[display-posts category=”news” posts_per_page=”4″]

MORE NEWS: Campaign 2021: Polls Open For Early Voting In New York City Primaries; First With Ranked Choice Voting

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)