Report: Federal Agencies Monitor Toy Guns for Regulatory Compliance

Associated Press
Associated Press

On November 30, Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) released a report on government waste, showing that multiple federal agencies are monitoring toy guns for regulatory compliance, although only one of the agencies involved has enforcement powers.

Lankford’s report is titled, “Federal Fumbles.”

According to the report, oversight of toy guns is currently being handled by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Of these two, only CBP “actually has enforcement capability.”

Moreover, even if that were not the case—in other words, even if both agencies had enforcement capabilities—the fact that most toy guns are imported leaves enforcement in the hands of the CBP anyway. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), “NIST staff… noted that because there are few, if any, domestic manufacturers of toy and imitation firearms and because most are imported, NIST regulations on the markings for toy and imitation firearms are enforced almost entirely by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

Additionally, the GAO cited the fact that “the regulation of toy and imitation firearms falls outside the scope of NIST’s primary mission and functions because NIST has no physical presence at ports of entry.”

Lankford suggests ending the wasteful and duplicated oversight by shifting responsibility to the CBP alone.

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