Toy Guns Banned in Cameroon
The government of Cameroon announced last month that it has banned the importation, sale and use of toy guns. Officials say the ban is aimed at discouraging violence and improving public safety. Many people are applauding the ban, and some think it should be made law in parliament.
Cameroon announced the ban on toy guns last month shortly before the end-of-year feasts when people exchange gifts and buy toys for children.
Mani Dieudonne, an official charged with implementing the ban at Cameroon’s ministry of territorial administration, said officials made the decision because of the increasing threat of gun violence in the central African nation.
She said in one case, replica guns were used to commit armed robbery.
“A family in Douala was harassed and at the end when the police arrested them [the criminals], they noticed that they had but toy guns. Because the family had very little time to notice or to look at what the criminals were holding, they surrendered all they had,” said Dieudonne.
Cameroon’s national commission on human rights and freedoms has saluted the initiative and is asking for additional efforts to make sure the ban is effective.
There are still no laws on the books banning the use of toy guns in Cameroon. Sociologist Anni Doriane said it was imperative the country enact an anti-imitation firearms law.
She said toys should be made in respect of security norms because dangerous toys exist. She said society had ethics so people should avoid toys that seem to encourage violence and consider ethics in their choice of toys.
So far, no one has issued a legal challenge to the ban. The main question is how it can be enforced, especially without an actual law to back it up