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Londrina encourages its merchants not to sell toy weapons
an article by Planeta Sercomtel

In a step forward to consolidate the culture of peace in Londrina [Brazil], shopkeepers of the city who do not sell toy weapons will be able to request with no cost - a stamp identifying it with the campaign “Weapons are not toys… with hugs”. The campaign is conceived by the city government and the Chamber of Commerce, in conformity with law 11309 of 2011. This law is a complement to law 9188 of 2003 which already established a prohibition of the sale of war toys in Londrina stores.

In the network of stores of Móveis Brasília war toys have not been sold for ten years, well before the existence of the law, according to shop owner Francisco Ontivero, Foto: Studio Milton Dória

click on photo to enlarge

According to the President of the Municipal Council of Culture of Peace (Compaz), Luis Cláudio Galhardi, one of the "most important objectives" of the new law is to strengthen the participation of merchants in the campaign. "We hope that the shopkeepers, as well as other social classes, will carry forward the campaign.

According to Galhardi , another advance was to arrive at a better definition of toy weapons. “What we find is that videogames and soft toys like dolls, for example, can also stimulate violence. But, for the time being, what is definite is to ban all the toys that have a barrel and trigger imitating firearms, whether or not they are colored or if the dispense water, foam or chiclettes."

The President of Compaz assures that there is no intention to punish merchants. She says that around 60 stores, throughout the city, were visited for advice with the objective of promoting the campaign and most of them are interested to participate. But she added, "On the other hand, if they do not respect the law they will receive a warning and, if this does not suffice, yes there can be fines and even suspension of their license.”

The owner of the network of stores, Móveis Brasília, of Londrina, Francisco Ontivero, has not sold war toys in his stores for 10 years now, since even before they were prohibited. "I find that when a law is just, it is always obeyed. And this new stamp is a support to merchants who respect the law," he said. "We prefer to work with toys that have more educational value. We sell videogames but I think that in the future we will need to ban those games that teach violence. The prohibition on war toys is a first step. The law is a good one because it teaches youth and children for peace and not for war."

According to Luis Cláudio Galhardi, the first stamps will be delivered in a collective ceremony at the Municipal Council on November 24, the International Day Against the Selling of War Toys.

To participate, merchants should apply to City Hall before the 11th, so there is time to check their shop and print the stamp.

(Click here for a Portuguese version of this article)


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This report was posted on November 12, 2011.