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MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2017 Regular Session


To: Judiciary, Division A
By: Senator(s) Barnett

Senate Bill 2018


AN ACT TO PROHIBIT REALISTIC TOY GUNS AND IMITATION FIREARMS THAT
COULD BE MISTAKEN FOR ACTUAL FIREARMS; TO CREATE EXCEPTIONS; AND
FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) For the purposes of this section, "device" is defined as a toy, look-alike, or
imitation firearm having the appearance, shape or configuration of a firearm. It does not include:
(a) A nonfiring collector replica antique firearm, which looks authentic and may be a scale
model but is not intended as a toy;
(b) Any traditional B-B, paint-ball or pellet-firing airgun that expels a projectile through
the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination;
(c) Any decorative, ornamental or miniature object having the appearance, shape or
configuration of a firearm, including one intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on a
bracelet, necklace or keychain or that is merely decorative, if the object measures no more than
thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, no person shall manufacture, enter
into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any device defined in this section

SO WHO DOES THIS AFFECT AND HOW:


1. (MANUFACTURES) TOY MANUFACTURERS ALL OVER THE US AND THE
WORLD WHO WILL MOST LIKELY NOT BE AWARE OF MS LAWS.
2. (THOSE WHO ENTER INTO COMMERCE) IMPORTERS ALL OVER THE US WHO
WILL NOT LIKELY BE AWARE OF MS LAWS.
3. (SHIP, TANSPORT) MANUFACTURERS, WHOLESALERS, RETAILERS WHO
WILL NOT LIKELY BE AWARE OF MS LAWS.
4. (RECEIVE) BUYERS WHO LIVE IN MS BUT COULD EVEN BE JUVENILES WHO
ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ADULT CHARGES.

unless the device contains, or has affixed to it, one (1) of the following markings:
(a) A blaze orange
BLAZE ORANGE IS SIMPLY A COLOR NO DIFFERENT FROM CANDY APPLE
RED OR SKY BLUE. STUDIES SHOW THAT 77 PERCENT OF ALL SHOOTINGS
OCCUR AT NIGHT. IN THOSE CONDITIONS BLAZE ORANGE IS NO MORE
HELPFUL THAN BULLFROG GREEN. IF SOMETHING AFFIXED TO THE
BARREL IS INTENDED TO MAKE IT MORE VISIBLE TO LAW
ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL IT WOULD NEED TO BE FLUORESCENT OR
REFLECTIVE WHICH COULD BE ACHIEVED IN A NUMBER OF COLORS
WITHIN THE SPECTRUM.

(b) solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the
entire device and recessed no more than six (6) millimeters from the muzzle end of the
barrel.

So this plug is recessed up to 6 mm from


the muzzle end of the barrel?
Who will see it inside the barrel?
An Officer would have to be looking down
the barrel with his flashlight to see it.

(c) A blaze orange marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel,
covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least six
(6) millimeters.
So I am a bad guy and I dont want the police
to do a double take when they see me with a
gun, so I just paint the end orange?

(d) Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which


permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents.

So all toy gun manufacturers will have to make


all MS gun toys out of clear plastic or semiclear plastic?

(e) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in 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.
WELL IF IT CAN BE COLORIZED, IT PROBABLY WONT BE TRANSPARENT
SO TRANSLUCENT IS THE ONLY OPTION. WOULDNT WE BE BETTER OFF
OF THE REAL GUN MANUFACTURERS DIDNT MAKE, SELL OR
TRANSPORT REAL PINK OR PURPLE GUNS?
(3) The prohibitions set forth in this section do not apply to any toy, look-alike or imitation
firearm that is used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry or by the drama
department of a school.
NOW YOU ARE REALLY GOING TO CONFUSE THE MANUFACTURERS. THE CAN
MAKE, SELL, SHIP OR TRANSPORT THESE TO THEATERS, THE TELEVISION
INDUSTRY OR THE DRAMA DEPARTMENT OF A SCHOOL BUT NOT TO
INDIVIDUALS, WHOLESALERS, OR RETAILERS.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.

SO WHAT AFFECT DOES THIS HAVE ON THE PRIVATE CITZEN?


1. UNNECESSARY CONTACT WITH POLICE SO THEY CAN GET CLOSE ENOUGH
TO DETERMINE IF IT IS: A TOY, A BB GUN, AN AIR GUN, A PAINT GUN OR
THE REAL THING. BECAUSE THOSE ARE OK UNDER THIS STATUTE. BUT
WITH OUR LIBERAL GUN LAWS NOW, THE VIOLATION WOULD BE GREATER
IF THE INDIVIDUAL HAD A TOY. ??????
WHAT AFFECT DOES THIS HAVE ON THE POLICE OFFICER?
1. AS IF THEY DIDNT HAVE ENOUGH TO DO NOW THEY ARE TASKED WITH
ENFORCING MATTEL TOY LAWS. AND EVEN IF THEY DO, WHAT IS THE
PENALTY? THERE IS NONE LISTED IN THIS STATUTE. DOES IT MATTER IF
THE PERSON IS AN ADULT OR JUVENILE? IS IT A MISDEMEANOR OR
FELONY?
WHAT AFFECT DOES THIS HAVE ON THE COURT SYSTEM?
1. AS IF THE COURT DOCKETS WERENT FULL ENOUGH, WE ARE GOING TO
START BRINGING PEOPLE IN FOR A TOY GUN IF IT IS NOT CLEAR, WITH AN
ORANGE IT ON IT? WE WILL HAVE TO HIRE NEW PROSECUTORS AND
JUDGES.
WHAT AFFECT DOES THIS HAVE ON TOY MANUFACTURERS, WHOLESALERS,
RETAILERS, ETC.
1. MISSISSIPPI BECOMES A SINGLED OUT STATE THAT ONLY ALLOW THE TOY
GUN MANUFACTURERS TO SELL CLEAR PLASTIC GUNS OR THOSE WITH A
RED END ON THE BARREL. THEY MOST LIKELY WONT MAKE THE EFFORT.

WHAT IS THE REAL PROBLEM?


1. FELONS WHO CANT BUY REAL GUNS USE TOY GUNS (OFTEN PAINTED) IN
ROBBERIES, ETC. DO YOU REALLY THINK THEY ARE GOING TO USE A
CLEAR PLASTIC ONE WITH A RED NOZZLE ON THE END OF THE BARREL?
2. STUPID KIDS WITH EVEN MORE STUPID PARENTS THAT RUN OUT TO THE
CURB AND POINT A LOOK-ALIKE GUN AT A TRIGGER HAPPY COP. THE
PROBLEM HERE IS STUPID PARENTS NOT BLACK PLASTIC GUNS.
HOW DO WE CURRENTLY DEAL WITH THIS?
1. MISSISSIPPI LAW 97-37-1 DEFINES DEADLY WEAPONS BUT IT DOES NOT
ADDRESS TOY GUNS. HOWEVER, IT DOES MAKE IT A VIOLATION IF YOU
USE ONE (NOT OWN OR POSSESS ONE). SAY: ATTEMPTS TO USE AGAINST
ANOTHER PERSON ANY IMITATION FIREARM

SUMMARY:
THIS LAW IS UNNECESSARY. IT IS POORLY WRITTEN WHEN DESCRIBING
PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A GUN. IT IS TOO BURDENSOME ON TOY
MANUFACTURERS, WHOLESALERS, RETAILERS AND BUYERS. IT DOES NOT
DEFINE THE PENALTY OR DISTINGUISH BETWEEN A FELONY, OR A
MISDEMEANOR. THE SAFEGUARDS PUT IN PLACE WITH A CLEAR GUN OR RED
MUZZLE ARE EASILY DEFEATED WITH A CAN OF BLACK PAINT.
IF A POLICE OFFICER WERE TO SHOOT A PERSON 20 FEET AWAY AT NIGHT WHO
TURNED OUT TO HAVE THIS ORANGE CAP, HE WOULD BE UNNECESSARILY
OSTRACIZED AND LIKELY PROSECUTED WHEN HE COULD NOT DISTINGUISH
WHETHER OR NOT THE GUN POINTED AT HIM WAS A TOY.
WHY SHOULDNT I BE ABLE TO OWN A TOY GUN THAT LOOKS LIKE A REAL GUN? I
CAN OWN A TOY BASEBALL BAT THAT LOOKS LIKE A REAL ONE, I CAN OWN A
TOY GOLF CLUB THAT LOOKS LIKE A REAL ONE. I CAN OWN A TOY KNIFE THAT
LOOKS LIKE A REAL ONE. USED (AND THAT IS THE KEY WORD), EITHER OF THESE
REAL OBJECTS ARE CAPABLE OF SERIOUS AND GRIEVOUS BODLY HARM OR
DEATH IF USED IN A WAY OTHER THAN THAT INTENDED BY THE MANUFACTURER.
THE CURRENT LAW IS SUFFICIENT. IF A PERSON USES A TOY GUN AS IF IT WERE A
REAL ONE SO AS TO PLACE THAT PERSON IN FEAR OF HIS LIFE SHOULD BE
PROSECUTED. HOWEVER, A CHILD PLAYING IN HIS OWN YARD OR AT THE PARK
WITH A TOY GUN SHOULD NOT BE LABELED A CRIMINAL.