Skip to main content

Gun-Shaped Lighters Banned from New York

Gun-Shaped Lighters Banned from New York

Gun Shaped LighterIn Soviet times, those lucky few citizens who owned cars were banned from making any visible modification of them. A J.C. Whitney catalog would have been to the Kremlin in those days what the Anarchist's Cookbook is to the Democratic Party.

I would say the very definition of totalitarianism is to tell a man he can't have curb feelers on his Zil or a Hollywood Wolf Whistle on his Lada. You couldn't paint your car a new color, couldn't install a nice set of rims, couldn't wiggle under it and put in a lift kit to deal with those Novosibirsk potholes. Fuzzy dice, I'm not sure about them.

New York City has become the national capital of telling people — in excruciating detail — how to live. Outgoing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has earned infamy by regulating people's cigarettes, trans fats and soft drink cups. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo generously allows you a 10-round magazine, but you can't load it with more than seven.

Now the state legislature has voted to ban novelty cigarette lighters of the sort commonly sold at New York corner stores. You know the kind: shaped like animals or even guns. Now, I don't smoke, and never have. I have owned a gun-shaped novelty lighter or two thanks to an executive at Shotgun News advertiser Century Arms, the king of advertising specialties.


So I don't feel any great personal sense of loss on this subject, but I was very disturbed by the justification offered by the bill's sponsor. Jeffrey Dinowitz, D-Bronx, said his goal was to keep the lighters away from children who come across them at home and play with them, creating a fire hazard.


"These are the types of bills that don't make headlines, but they are the types of things that can prevent a terrible tragedy from happening," Dinowitz said. "Little kids are drawn to these novelty lighters not because they are lighters, but because they look like guns, or cars or even fishing poles ... there's no reason for them to exist."

Well. "No reason for them to exist." Sound familiar? We have been told over the years that there was no reason for "Saturday Night Specials" to exist, no reason for "cheap surplus weapons of war" to exist, no reason for caseless ammo firearms to exist, no reason for "pocket rockets" to exist, no reason for "military-style assault weapons" to exist, no reason for "high-capacity magazines" to exist, etc.

I'd say the fact that a fair amount of Chinese child labor is occupied making these gizmos means there's a reason for them to exist. Freedom, as I understand it, means politicians don't get to decide what or whom has a reason to exist, with a few exceptions like the Ebola virus or maybe Justin Bieber. Novelty lighters made a few bucks for bodega owners and gave a few chuckles to those who shelled out a couple greenbacks for one. That's plenty of reason in my book.

If we are to be allowed only those items with which a toddler can be trusted, our horizons as adults are going to be about the width of a playpen. I'd readily admit I don't need a lighter that looks like a toilet. But what I really don't need is some politician telling me I can't have one.




GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Transcoded: FANIssue11-SpringfieldEdgeEVAC

Patrick Sweeney of Firearms News shows off the Springfield Edge AR pistol with a folding arm brace.

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

SCCY CPX-4 in .380 ACP

New for 2019 is the SCCY CPX-4, a .380 ACP semi-automatic pistol that extends beyond the existing SCCY CPX-3 line of pistols.

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

Shooting the 20mm Lahti

David Fortier had the chance to fire the Lahti L-39 while filming the 2018 season of Guns&AmmoTV while on location at DriveTanks.com.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and allow gunmakers to be sued if their lawfully made products are used for criminal purposes.New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals 2nd Amendment

New York Targeting Gunmakers Instead of Criminals

Mark Chesnut - August 19, 2020

One New York lawmaker is pushing legislation to bypass the Protection of Lawful Commerce in...

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms will be a virtual online event, due to the current COVID-19 situation.2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Online Event Due to COVID-19 Industry

2020 Gun Rights Policy Conference Is Online Event Due to COVID-19

Second Amendment Foundation - July 16, 2020

For the first time in its 35-year-history, the annual Gun Rights Policy Conference hosted by...

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590 models with the enhanced combat utility of a military “trench gun.” Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review Shotguns

Mossberg 590A1 Retro Shotgun Review

Leroy Thompson - August 24, 2020

The Mossberg 590A1 Retro offers the proven durability and reliability of the M500 and M590...

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you may want to consider SIG Sauer's P365.Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun? Handguns

Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun?

David M. Fortier - August 16, 2020

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you...

See More Trending Articles

More 2nd Amendment

You might remember Garland as the judge Obama nominated for the Supreme Court back at the end of his term when Justice Antonin Scalia passed away.Meet Judge Merrick Garland, Firearms Instructor and Insurance Salesman 2nd Amendment

Meet Judge Merrick Garland, Firearms Instructor and Insurance Salesman

Mark Chesnut - February 12, 2021

You might remember Garland as the judge Obama nominated for the Supreme Court back at the end...

Montana became the first state to put the new law into effect in 2021, making 18 states that now recognize the right to carry a firearm without having to receive government permission or pay a special fee or tax to do so.Montana Becomes First to Pass Constitutional Carry In 2021 2nd Amendment

Montana Becomes First to Pass Constitutional Carry In 2021

Mark Chesnut - February 22, 2021

Montana became the first state to put the new law into effect in 2021, making 18 states that...

See More 2nd Amendment

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Firearms News App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now