PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia political and community leaders are warning about the dangers of toy guns this holiday season.
Mayor Jim Kenney is putting pressure on retailers.
“I join the district attorney and others here on calling retailers to remove these realistic toys from their shelves today. Our administration continues to be focused on the larger issue of gun violence in Philadelphia. We have already implemented a number of different initiatives to reduce violence in our city, but more must be done,” said Kenney.
Earlier this month, the Lehigh Avenue Supermarket in North Philadelphia pulled toy guns from their shelves following protests.
A video posted on social media by Antoine Johnson showed a group of anti-violence activists confronting the store owner about selling the toy handguns, along with toy revolvers equipped with scopes and pretend silencers.
“We are living in a dangerous time right now. If a kid came outside and pointed that in my face, I would have thought it was real and gave him everything I had on me,” said Anton Moore, founder of Unity in the Community.
Moore said the goal was to not bully the store but to make sure the owner realized that selling realistic toy guns actually violates city law.
“What we need to do is to get the city and L&I to enforce the law,” said Moore.
At one point, demonstrators used a marker to show how young buyers could further disguise the toy as the real thing.
According to those activists, the store owner was hesitant at first but ultimately decided to halt sales and pull the toy guns from the shelves.
There are now blank spots on the wall where they used to hang. Moore hopes that more stores still selling these toys get the message.