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Californians at Checkout Counters: Email Addresses and Toy Guns

By Gabriella Khorasanee, JD on December 06, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The specter of Black Friday has come and gone, fortunately with no deaths this year (at least related to shopping). But the controversy at California checkout counters is far from over. Proposed legislation and pending litigation could change the face of toys, and shopping in general.

Replica Gun Legislation

In 2011, a 13-year old boy was shot and, as a result is a paraplegic. Why was he shot? Because police officers mistook his replica gun for a real one. As a result California Senator Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles), wrote SB 798, which would "require BB guns to be painted a bright color to make it harder for them to be mistaken for real firearms." The bill did not pass, and has lain dormant -- until now.

Because of the recent, fatal shooting of Andy Lopez, another 13-year old boy, Senator de Leon has announced that he is reintroducing the Imitation Firearms Security Act bill, which would require that airsoft, pellet and BB guns be painted bright colors so that law enforcement can easily distinguish between toy, and real, firearms.

He stated at a press conference: "When officers must make split second decisions ... these replica firearms can trigger tragic consequences ... By making toy guns more obvious to law enforcement we can help families avoid the terrible grief of losing a child."

Email Address at Check Out

If you've been shopping lately, you may have been asked if you want your receipt emailed to you. If you selected yes, and then received emails, other than your receipt, from the store, then you'll like this case. A man fed up with spam sued Nordstrom alleging the department store violated the California Song-Beverly Credit Card Act "by requesting his email address at the time of purchase and subsequently using it to send [him] unsolicited marketing materials," reports Mondaq.

Nordstrom made a motion to dismiss arguing that an email address is not "personal identification information" as defined by the Act, and that the Act was preempted by federal law. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California disagreed, and denied the motion. It will be interesting to see how this case turns out -- we'll be watching it for you.

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