City returns to the drawing board on banning pellet guns | Paterson Times Paterson Times

City returns to the drawing board on banning pellet guns

By Jayed Rahman
Published: April 9, 2014


An ordinance banning the possession and sale of pellet guns was postponed for revision during Tuesday’s city council meeting.

“The way the current ordinance is written, the language in the ordinance, is so broad that it would include a number of different devices that we do not intend on regulating,” explained Kenneth McDaniel, councilman at-large, who sponsored the ordinance.

The intended purpose of the ordinance was to regulate “sale of toy or replica handguns,” said McDaniel.

Residents learned of the new ordinance that defined the banned weapon as: “a weapon filled with a disposable cylinder containing liquid carbon dioxide that acts as a pressurized gas filling the chamber allowing a high capacity shot of ammunition,” and complained.

The vague wording would have banned a plethora of toy weapons, a reason residents reached out to council members to persuade them out of passing the ordinance.

Patricia McNeil, a city resident, came before the council in February to inform council members that school children were purchasing toy guns resembling actual handguns from stores, taking them into school buildings, and threatening each other.

“These guns are so real looking that police cannot tell the difference,” stated McNeil during her initial appearance before the council. She pointed out that, if one of the students pointed one of these toy weapon at a police officer carrying an actual weapon, there is a  real chance that student would suffer harm, because, she explained, the officer would perceive the replica toy as a real weapon.

“We have to go back to the drawing board,” said McDaniel. “We’re working on the language now, and we’re going to make it more specific, so it only addresses the problematic concern.”

“I hope this is not put in the back burner because it’s serious,” said McNeil.

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