East Orange shows its support for governor’s ban on sale of toy guns

EAST ORANGE, NJ — On Tuesday, Jan. 21, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into state law A-4260, a bill sponsored by former Assemblywoman and now Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver of East Orange in 2015 that bans the sale of certain toy guns and imitation firearms. East Orange Mayor Ted Green quickly released a statement showing the city’s support for this bill.

“I am incredibly proud and honored that my commitment to ban the sale of realistic-looking toy guns has been solidified with this new statewide law under the leadership of Gov. Phil Murphy,” Green said in a press release on Wednesday, Jan. 22. “I first sponsored this ban as a 3rd Ward councilman in East Orange, in response to the 2014 killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, Ohio.

“In that tragic case,” he continued, “Tamir was shot by an officer who mistook his toy gun for a real one. My council partners and I were the first legislators in New Jersey to unanimously pass an ordinance banning these types of toy guns in 2015 and, since then, I have fiercely advocated for this law to be passed statewide.

“I want to thank Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver, Assemblywomen Britnee Timberlake and Cleopatra Tucker, and Assemblymen Thomas Giblin and Ralph Caputo for their support in making this law a reality,” he said. “New Jersey has been at the forefront of helping to curtail senseless gun violence, and now we are looking forward to a similar ban at the federal level through Sen. Robert Menendez’s Keep Americans Safe Act. Toy guns that can be mistaken for real firearms have no place in any of our communities. The threat of danger is too real and not one that any of us should be willing to risk.”

East Orange City Council Chairman Christopher D. James said it is their hope the bill will have a positive impact and make a difference in saving lives and expanding the national narrative on toy guns and gun safety.

“The East Orange City Council commends Gov. Phil Murphy on signing the bill banning the sale of toy guns and imitation firearms that may be reasonably confused for a real weapon,” James said in the press release. “The council also thanks Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake and Assemblyman Tom Giblin for leading the charge to present this bill to the governor.

“Furthermore,” he added, “former East Orange Councilman and now Mayor Ted R. Green began the dialogue on this important bill five years ago, when he introduced the toy gun bill in the East Orange City Council. The council supported his efforts wholeheartedly, then and now. It is our hope and belief that this bill will have a positive impact and make a difference in saving lives and expanding the national narrative on toy guns and gun safety. The city of East Orange and the state of New Jersey are national leaders in this movement and with this legislation. I encourage and hope other town councils and states will follow.”

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