15 U.S.C. § 5001 : US Code - Section 5001: Penalties for entering into commerce of imitation firearms

    (a) Acts prohibited
      It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, enter into
    commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or
    imitation firearm unless such firearm contains, or has affixed to
    it, a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce, as provided in
    subsection (b) of this section.
    (b) Distinctive marking or device; exception; waiver; adjustments
      and changes
      (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), each toy, look-
    alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part,
    permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of
    such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be
    recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the
    barrel of such firearm.
      (2) The Secretary of Commerce may provide for an alternate
    marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm not
    capable of being marked as provided in paragraph (1) and may waive
    the requirement of any such marking or device for any toy, look-
    alike, or imitation firearm that will only be used in the
    theatrical, movie or television industry.
      (3) The Secretary is authorized to make adjustments and changes
    in the marking system provided for by this section, after
    consulting with interested persons.
    (c) "Look-alike firearm" defined
      For purposes of this section, the term "look-alike firearm" means
    any imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured,
    designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy
    guns, water guns, replica nonguns, and air-soft guns firing
    nonmetallic projectiles. Such term does not include any look-alike,
    nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior
    to 1898, or traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns
    that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.
    (d) Study and report
      The Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics is authorized
    and directed to conduct a study of the criminal misuse of toy, look-
    alike and imitation firearms, including studying police reports of
    such incidences and shall report on such incidences relative to
    marked and unmarked firearms.
    (c) (!1) Technical evaluation of marking systems

      The Director of (!2) National Institute of Justice is authorized
    and directed to conduct a technical evaluation of the marking
    systems provided for in subsection (b) of this section to determine
    their effectiveness in police combat situations. The Director shall
    begin the study within 3 months after November 5, 1988, and such
    study shall be completed within 9 months after November 5, 1988.

    (f) Effective date
      This section shall become effective on the date 6 months after
    November 5, 1988, and shall apply to toy, look-alike, and imitation
    firearms manufactured or entered into commerce after November 5,
    1988.
    (g) Preemption of State or local laws or ordinances; exceptions
      The provisions of this section shall supersede any provision of
    State or local laws or ordinances which provide for markings or
    identification inconsistent with provisions of this section
    provided that no State shall - 
        (i) prohibit the sale or manufacture of any look-alike,
      nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed
      prior to 1898, or
        (ii) prohibit the sale (other than prohibiting the sale to
      minors) of traditional B-B, paint ball, or pellet-firing air guns
      that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.