NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the first-in-the-nation juggling ban Monday.

NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the first-in-the-nation juggling ban Monday.

By Kyle Petersen

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of juggling and circus equipment in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat clown-related delinquency.

The proposed ban would affect virtually all juggling-related props, including clubs, ringsknives, diabolos, devil sticks, stilts, throwing knives, bullwhips, kendamas, unicycles and hula hoops. The sale of these items would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next month.

The measure would not apply to poi, meteors, cigar boxes, or buugeng; it would not extend to second-hand juggling sales.

“Juggling is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in City Hall’s sprawling Governor’s Room.

“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”

A spokesman for the New York City Juggling Association, an arm of the juggling industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday. The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out juggling; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.

“The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking juggling is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”

The Bloomberg administration had made previous, unsuccessful efforts to make juggling less appealing. The mayor supported a state tax on juggling, but the measure died in Albany, and he tried to restrict the use of food stamps to buy juggling equipment, but the idea was rejected by federal regulators.

“I think it’s a good idea,” said Sara Gochenauer, 21, a personal assistant from the Upper West Side. Juggling, she said, “rots your brain.”

But others said consumers should be free to choose.

“If people want to juggle three balls, it’s their decision,” said Zara Atal, 20, a college student from the Upper East Side.

  • jaws_fan

    Happy April Fool’s Day, everyone. This article would make the staff of The Onion proud.

  • Mighty Mouse

    juggling is dangerous for society. It makes you think and lets you dream

  • rondell sinanan

    i guess he ran out of real issues to deal with…..

  • Thomas William Falater

    I don’t know, I was stopped by the police for juggling in various public places and told, “Juggling is illegal.” It’s far fetched but it actually happens. Tom Falater

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