A bill to ban the retail sale of novelty lighters that resemble toys is sparking debate among Nebraska lawmakers.   Senators failed to reach a vote Tuesday on a proposal intended to keep the lighters away from children.  Supporters say some of the lighters resemble animals, tractors, blow dryers, cell phones, coins and cameras.

Fifteen states have passed similar laws.  Neighboring Iowa has no legislation introduced but south Dakota and Colorado have pending bills.

Senator Les Seiler of Hastings says children are naturally drawn to the lighters and could hurt themselves or damage property.

Opponents questioned whether they pose a greater threat than normal lighters or candles.  Senator Colby Coash of Lincoln says parents should take responsibility for keeping the lighters away from children.