HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – With Black Friday shopping in full swing, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal wants parents to leave one holiday gift off their lists: toy guns.

“Every year, tens of people, including children, are killed when they brandish toy guns or look-alikes,” he told WCBS 880’s Ethan Harp.

The senator blamed toy guns for nearly 90 deaths in the last two years in the United States.

“These guns look so much like real weapons, that they are mistaken for them by police who confront them in dark alleys or elsewhere,” he said.

Blumenthal’s new bill, the Imitation Firearms Safety Act, would force all toy guns to look a lot different.

“Clear, permanent, bright-colored markings, so that children and their families are spare the tragedies – needless and senseless deaths – when they are brandished in the dark,” he said. “Right now, the law simply requires a plug at the end of the gun to be marked clearly. But if the plug is removed or painted over, then the gun can be mistaken for the real thing.”

The Democrat hopes backers of gun rights will support the bill, which he vows will not take away a single real weapon.

He said parents whose children are nudging them to buy toy guns for the holidays should tell their kids “they are potentially dangerous, even though they are toys or imitations or look-alikes.” If your children already have them, he said to “add markings of your own with paint.”


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