On Monday, the Baltimore City Council had a preliminary vote on the banning of replica toy guns. The vote is the second in a series of three votes required by city statute.
Under Baltimore Council Bill 16-0761, if passed, no one would be allowed to possess or own a replica toy gun. If someone is caught in violation, the Baltimore Police Department can seize the toy.
A person found possessing a replica toy gun more than twice can face a misdemeanor charge with up to 30 days in prison, a $1,000 fine or both.
According to Bernard “Jack” Young, the City Council President, the ban is necessary:
It’s something that we should do for the safety of our children. We’re getting stores robbed with replicas. We’ve got people running around with these things and they almost look real. … I don’t think we should be allowing replica guns in the city of Baltimore, especially with the murder rate we have.
The Council addressed concerns by the NRA and firearms instructors. Under the ordinance’s amendment, firearms instructors are allowed to use replica guns for training purposes by certified instructors and in competitions.
The first vote passed 3-2. The second vote passed unanimously. The third vote is expected to take place on December 5th, at which time the ordinance will become law if passed.