Way to help small business in NYC, Mr Mayor!
The owner of a Midtown tourist shop is firing back at Mayor Bloomberg’s crusade against toy guns, filing papers to block a $60,000 fine from the city for selling lighters shaped like small pistols.
“We don’t have the money,” said Fred Shayes, 49, who owns US Camera & Computer Inc. near Penn Station. “I would have to take a loan out from the bank to pay that.”
Shayes filed a petition in Manhattan Supreme Court to vacate the fine. At issue is a bronze-and-silver colored 3-inch butane lighter shaped like a gun with a black handle and a red tip that was selling for $10 until investigators slapped the store with a fine and yanked it off their shelves.
Under city law, toy guns can’t be sold in the city unless they are bright green, blue, red or a neon color.
Toy guns are also supposed to have a legible stamp identifying the manufacturer or trade name.
Although the gun-shaped lighter can fit in the palm of a smoker’s hand, inspectors for the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs said in 2011 that the lighters could reasonably be confused with a real firearm, and hit Shayes with the fine.