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Lawmaker wants to ban cell phone camera sales to kids

Posted at 7:43 AM, Jan 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-25 08:04:13-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A bill proposed in the 2017 General Assembly would outlaw stores from selling cell phones, or other wireless devices, with cameras to children under 18.

Delegate Bob Marshall (R - Prince William County) said he hoped his HB 2459 would help cut down on the number of teenagers taking nude photos of themselves to share online.

"Minors who send out or receive explicit pictures of themselves or others can be charged with creation of or possession of child pornography and end up on the sex offender registry for life. Unfortunately many kids lives are destroyed when their pictures end up in the wrong hands," Marshall wrote in an email to supporters explaining the bill.

He said the bill would only outlaw the sale of phones and wireless devices with cameras directly to children under 18. Parents would still have the option to buy those devices with cameras for their child.

Marshall equated his bill to laws and rules already in place to protect children.

Del. Bob Marshall

Del. Bob Marshall

"Stores may not sell tobacco products, Playboy magazine, or novelty lighters to teens under 18. Movie theaters cannot show trailers or previews at movies where persons in the audience would not be allowed to view the full motion picture," he wrote.

If passed as proposed, stores caught selling devices with cameras to kids would be fined $100 for a first violation, $200 for a second violation, and $500 if it happened again.

Track Marshall's bill online.