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Annapolis alderwoman seeks to ban toy guns

Annapolis Alderwoman Cynthia A. Carter wielded a toy machine gun Monday night when she introduced legislation before the City Council that makes it a misdemeanor to sell, give, possess or use a replica firearm within the city limits.

The proposed ordinance - which already has garnered national attention, particularly on conservative talk shows - was inspired by an incident in April, when an 8-year-old tried to hold up an Annapolis video store while brandishing a realistic-looking, gold-colored toy gun.

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Modeled after New York's toy gun ban, the legislation would make violations punishable by a fine up to $1,000 or up to 90 days in jail. A public hearing on the measure is expected in September.

In other action, a resolution was introduced that would formally express the city's intent to pursue ownership of the Thomas Point Shoal Lighthouse, along with the Annapolis Maritime Museum and the United States Lighthouse Society.

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Located near the entrance to Annapolis Harbor, the lighthouse - a screw-pile lighthouse that is the last of its type standing in its original location anywhere in the country - is being pursued by several groups. It is among about 300 lighthouses that the Coast Guard plans to transfer to public or private ownership over the next decade.

A few council members blocked a move to suspend rules and give the resolution final approval Monday because of questions about the lease arrangement and possible costs to the city, Alderwoman Sheila M. Tolliver said.


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