Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Store owner gets $60k fine for selling gun-shaped lighters

The owner of a New York City tourist shop is filing papers to block a $60,000 fine from the city for selling lighters shaped like small pistols.

An inspector arrived at US Camera & Computer Inc. in Manhattan and told Fred Shayes the $10 lighters were illegal, reports the New York Post. The bronze-and-silver colored 3-inch butane lighters were shaped like guns with black handles and red tips.

“I took it off the shelf right away. I sent it back, and I showed them the invoice that proved I returned it,” Shayes said. Still, Shayes lost in a hearing at the Department of Consumer Affairs’ appeals board, and went to court.

“We don’t have the money,” said Shayes, 49, who owns US Camera & Computer Inc. “I would have to take a loan out from the bank to pay that,” he said. He was fined $5,000 for each of 12 lighters, and says the cost could put him out of business.

Under city law, toy guns must be bright green, blue, red or a neon color, and be stamped by a manufacturer in order to be sold in the city.

Although the gun-shaped lighter is only about the length of an ordinary lighter, the city’s Department of Consumer Affairs decided in 2011 that the lighters could reasonably be confused with a real firearm.

Full article: … hters/7841367584488/

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