Just when you thought you had heard it all!
A New York City discount store is really feeling the pain for its decision to sell children’s toys. Khaled Mohammed, manager of the 99¢ Target store in Flatlands ran afoul of a New York City ordinance which bans the sale of toy guns.
The punishment? $30,000 in fines which have been affirmed by the district appeals court.
the law was created by the city in order to prevent cops from shooting kids that carry around the fake weapons and to prevent criminals from using them to commit crimes. It is really easy for retailers to get around the law by making sure the toy guns are painted a bright color.
Mohamed and store owner Jamal Ahmed had relied on the manufacturer of the toys, JMD All Star of New Jersey, that the toys were legal for sale. What they didn’t know was that the store had been written up for the same offense before Ahmed bought it. This resulted in Ahmed missing a hearing and the $30,000 fine was levied.
He got the division of Consumer Affairs to reopen the case and a settlement was reached for $5,400. Ahmed couldn’t afford to pay it so he asked for another hearing where he argued that no reasonable person could mistake the toys for the real thing. The hearing officer disagreed and so did an appeals judge and they reinstated the original fine.
Ahmed says he will probably have to close the store over what he refers to as “a really, really abusive penalty”.
A Consumer Affairs spokesman defended the law saying,
“Realistic-looking imitation guns are illegal and dangerous, and just last week, a 15-year-old in Texas was killed while holding one of these guns.”
Do you think this is a realistic punishment or dramatically unfair?