Politics & Policy

An Incomplete List of the Many Things Chuck Schumer Has Tried to Ban

(Alex Wong/Getty)

Senator Chuck Schumer, the senior senator from New York State, recently joined the New York Police Department in calling for a federal ban on iPhone cases that resemble real handguns, and demanded that online retailers take them off the shelves (Amazon acquiesced to the request, according to the New York Times).

As evidenced by the NYPD’s backing, Schumer kind of has a point here — the products could be dangerous, and federal law already requires that toy guns have an orange dot at the end of their barrels, so Schumer isn’t totally out of line on this one.

But it looks more ridiculous in light of the long line of things Senator Schumer has tried to ban. A sampling of the work of America’s most meddlesome senator:

Earlier this year, Schumer called on the FDA to ban powdered caffeine, after it was linked to the deaths of two teenagers last year.

In March, he proposed a federal ban on green laser pointers after a few morons used them to disorient airline pilots during take-off and landing.

In April, Schumer called on the FDA to ban e-cigarette flavors like “bubble gum” and “gummy bear,” which he argued are intended to entice children and teenagers;

In June, the senator introduced legislation that would make it illegal to produce, sell, or possess powdered alcohol.

That’s five ideas for federal bans in just the first seven months of this year — not a bad start.

Way back in 2005, Schumer proposed banning 25 to Life, a videogame that allows players to kill cops and use innocent people as human shields. According to Schumer, the game “lowered common decency,” which is probably true, but that doesn’t always mean you have to whip out the ban stick — ever seen Game of Thrones?

In 2010, Schumer (successfully) asked the New York state liquor authority to ban alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko, a caffeinated beverage that combines stimulants and depressants.

In 2012, the senator introduced a bill requiring that Olympic uniforms be made in America — in other words, he wanted to ban internationally produced Olympic wear.

In 2013, he called for federal law to prohibit 3-D-printed “undetectable” guns.

In 2014, Schumer demanded that the Food and Drug Administration ban azodicarbonamide, a chemical commonly found in yoga mats and shoe soles, which is also used as a food additive in fast food bread buns and other products sold in grocery stores. (The FDA says it’s safe.)

It’s not just bans, either, that the meddlesome Schumer wields in dubious efforts to protect Americans: In 1995, for instance, he urged Attorney General Janet Reno to probe cereal companies for antitrust violations, because prices for cold cereal had, well, gone up.

If someone ever comes up with a alcoholic, caffeine-infused powdered cereal that looks like a gun, who knows what the senator might do?

— Isaac Cohen is an intern at National Review.

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