Amazon Won't Ship a Toy Gun, But it Will Ship a Laser-Powered Rifle Scope

By Matt Novak on at

Just how messed up are American gun laws? Residents of cities like Los Angeles and Chicago can't have the toy gun in the left of the above picture shipped to them. But Amazon is happy to send out the rifle scope that’s pictured on the right.

Conservative news organisations like the Daily Caller and Fox News are currently reporting on Chicago’s toy gun ban and the fact that Amazon won’t ship toy guns to the Windy City as though it’s a new thing. But it’s not. There are a host of cities and states that have passed laws over the years making it illegal to sell toy guns that don’t have a large orange stripe on the barrel. New York City has banned realistic-looking toy guns since 1955.

So why are organisations like Fox News focusing on Chicago? Probably because Chicago has an alarmingly high homicide rate, and their boy Trumpy wants to save the day with his version of “law and order”.

Interestingly, one “law and order” measure that Chicago used to have was a complete ban on handguns. But that ban was lifted in 2010, when the Supreme Court ruled in McDonald v. City of Chicago that the city’s handgun ban was unconstitutional. And Mr. Trump has made no mention of wanting to fight for its reinstatement. The ban on toy guns hasn’t yet made it to the Supreme Court.

I tried a few different addresses to test where Amazon would and would not send that silver toy gun pictured above. Chicago? Banned. Los Angeles? Banned. Nashville? Totally fine. I reached out to Amazon for comment, but the company hasn’t replied.

Amazon Won't Ship a Toy Gun to Los Angeles, But It Will Ship a Laser-Powered Rifle ScopeA screenshot showing that the “Western Girl Single Holster Set” containing a toy gun cannot be shipped to Chicago, just as it can’t to many other major US cities (Amazon)

Toy gun sales in the United States have historically tracked with the popularity of the western as a movie and TV genre. And with a renewed interest in the genre (see: Westworld, The Magnificent Seven), we can probably expect toy gun sales to soar in the country — with bright orange markers emblazoned on them, of course.

Unfortunately, the cities of the United States are only good at regulating the sale of fake guns, not real ones.