Settlement Restricts Sale Of Illegal Weapons Via Internet

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with an Internet company accused of selling illegal weapons -- including stun guns, brass knuckles, switchblades and kung fu stars -- to children and others in New York.

"These transactions demonstrate the combustible mix of kids and the Internet when there is a failure of close supervision," Spitzer said. "With this settlement, however, we will block the sale of illegal weapons in New York, and send a strong message to others who market dangerous products."

Family Defense Products, based in Ocala, Florida, sells weapons on its website and through a direct mail business. The Attorney General’s office launched the investigation of the company after a complaint was filed by a Rockland County couple whose 13-year-old son, who suffers from an emotional disorder, obtained butterfly knives and brass knuckles from Family Defense Products.

The boy’s mother, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "For this company to allow my son such easy access to these weapons not only undermines his treatment, but presents a potentially dangerous situation to him and others."

The Attorney General’s office subsequently purchased stun guns, brass knuckles, nunchuks, black jacks, switchblade knives and other weapons from the company, ordering by phone, fax, and the Internet. New York State Law prohibits the sale, transport, disposal, and possession of such items.

In settling the allegations, Family Defense Products has been banned from selling such weapons to New Yorkers. The company also has agreed to the following:

  • Post notices on its web site stating that it will not sell such weapons to New York consumers;
  • Send notification to all New Yorkers who had purchased such weapons from the company, warning that they are at risk of arrest and prosecution and urging them to safely discard such weapons; and
  • Pay $7,500 in costs and penalties.

Attorney General Spitzer thanked Technical Sergeant John Leavitt of the State Police for his help on this matter.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorney General in Charge Gary Brown and Senior Investigator Cindy M. Trimble of the Westchester Regional Office.