Target: New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T. Kean
Goal: Urge Kean to withdraw his unnecessary bill that would fine game retailers for selling mature games to minors
Despite a Federal Trade Commission report filed last week which revealed that only 13 percent of the under-age secret shoppers it deployed as part of the 2012 secret shopper program were able to buy mature games without an adult present, New Jersey Assemblyman Sean T. Kean has proposed a new bill that would severely fine any national retailers who sold mature video games to minors. However, in the same breath, Kean also filed a second bill which would allow minors to purchase mature games as long as they had a parent’s consent.
The first bill, if passed, would fine any retailers caught selling mature games to anyone below the age of 18 up to $10,000 for a first offense and up to $20,000 for subsequent offenses. Retailers caught violating the bill’s terms could also be slapped with cease and desist orders by the Attorney General and could even award punitive damages to the minor.
Where the danger and confusion lies is in how much the second bill undermines, and possibly exploits, the first. If both bills were to be passed, a minor could theoretically walk into a retail store with a note of consent from their parent (which the parent didn’t actually write), purchase a mature-rated game, and the retailer could then be fined and/or sued. So, in short, the first bill is unnecessary and the second bill is more exploitive than helpful.
Help urge Assemblyman Kean to withdraw both bills by signing this petition letter.
Dear Assemblyman Sean T. Kean,
While your intentions are no doubt very noble, I’d urge to you reconsider what exactly it is you are proposing with the two bills you submitted in regards to the sale of mature video games to minors. Many game retailers are already very aware of the fact that they shouldn’t be selling mature games to minors; we don’t need yet another law putting unnecessary pressure on them. Also, there’s the added fact that what your second bill proposes severely undermines, and could possibly even exploit, the conditions set in the first bill.
I urge you to withdraw both bills and to let retailers retain the security of selling games without the government breathing down their necks. Many national retailers have already shown how responsible they can be when it comes to barring the sale of mature games to minors, there’s no need to punish or potentially exploit them. By signing this petition letter, I am asking you to at least consider having both bills withdrawn or, at the very least, reconsidered.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: NintendoPassion via Flickr