Author: Jason Colthorp, Local 4 Reporter, @JasonColthorp,
DETROIT – Lifelong Detroiter Jan Frazier found a toy gun for sale at her favorite market and was outraged.
The toy gun was packaged with candy and a label reading: “fun pack.”
“What kind of ‘fun’ is this? You know, a gun and candy,” said Frazier. “I was extremely upset when I saw the gun for sale packaged with candy for children. I mean, what kind of message are we sending with all the violence?”
Local 4 went to the market where Frazier bought it and found many like it on sale. The owner wouldn’t let our cameras inside the store but he said he’s sending them all back to the distributor. He took all of them off the shelf.
We made a phone call to that distributor: Four Brothers Packaging in Oak Park. The manager said he’s personally against the item, but as long as people request them he’ll keep supplying them.
Many people agree with Frazier, including her city councilman, Gabe Leland.
“What it shows is a marketing strategy for kids, with the candy in there and so forth, and I do (have a problem with this marketing strategy),” said Leland.
Walmart, Amazon and Sears just agreed to stop the sale of toy guns in New York and pay a $300,000 fine. The distributor in Oak Park said he just shipped an order of the toy guns to a retailer in New York.
“It is one thing to have brightly colored squirt guns that are obvious toys,” said Auday Arabo, president and CEO of MIRA. “But to have guns that can be mistaken for a real gun and promoting it as fun is completely irresponsible and MIRA strongly opposes such toys. We do not need to promote violence to children and have someone mistaken that gun for real one on a kid and shoot him or her for it.”
MIRA is asking retailers who are currently selling these toys to take them off the shelves immediately and send them back to the distributor.
A high-ranking officer in the Detroit Police Department said the toy guns have to go. He said a kid with this in his hand could get shot, and the packaging with candy is just sick.