Albany County Agrees to Halt Enforcement of Illegal & Unconstitutional Albany County Toy Ban

County Attorney Steps in to Fix Legislative Overreach

May 17, 2015 | The “Safe to Play Coalition” announced last week that a federal judge has granted a motion to stay Albany County’s law banning the sale of safe toys and other children’s products containing certain chemicals. The law will not be enforced while the county seeks to address the serious legal concerns raised by a lawsuit filed by the Safe to Play Coalition last month.

The coalition’s hundreds of small U.S.-based sellers of toys and children’s products assert that Local Law J is illegal and unnecessary because it violates federal preemptive safety laws and bans the sale of safe children’s products that otherwise meet strict federal requirements. It also diverts attention away from the joy and enriching developmental benefits that these toys provide children of all ages.

“This law claimed to make children’s products safer when, in reality, all it did was criminalize and ban the sale of safe children’s products that parents need and want for their children,” said Rick Locker, counsel to the coalition. “The safety of children is our top priority, and we thank the County Attorney for allowing that mission to remain our focus.”

As passed, Local Law J bans and criminalizes the sale of safe toys and products that comply with federal safety laws under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) and the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). Congress enacted those provisions to ensure that strict, uniform standards would govern the safety of children’s products nationwide, and to avoid the uncertainty and inefficiency of patchwork safety regulations through hundreds of different, often-conflicting state and local standards. 

About the Safe to Play Coalition

The Safe to Play Coalition is an alliance representing hundreds of small U.S. manufacturers and sellers of toys and children’s products. The association members are dedicated to the development of safe products by complying with various federal laws, committing tens of millions of dollars to testing and safety, and making product safety the core of their mission from concept to consumer.