Paintball Guns & Other Air Guns are Lethal Weapons

November 1, 2004 - This year at least 3 million nonpowder guns will be sold in the US. These "toy" guns include such popular items as paintball guns, BB guns, pellet guns, and air rifles.

These "toy" guns use compressed air instead of gunpowder to launch projectiles, but they are often nearly as powerful as firearms that use gunpowder. Nonpowder guns are weapons and should never be characterized as toys, according to a new technical report from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Comment: Growing up, one of us used to ride the school bus with two boys who were brothers. One day, one of the boys accidentally shot the other in the eye with a BB gun. He lost his eye and nearly his life. This episode impressed on us that these "toy" guns are not toys. Today the paintball gun has replaced the BB gun as the lethal weapon of choice for kids.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors,

For related information, please visit the Healthy Kid's Center.


Below is a news brief on a technical report appearing in the the November issue of Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed, scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

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