LANSING, Mich., March 6, 2023 — State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 4184 on Thursday, which would require an adult to be present when minors use pneumatic guns outside their own home or yard. Examples of pneumatic guns include BB, paintball and pellet guns.
“Allowing kids to use BB guns unsupervised can have life-threatening consequences,” Rogers said. “All too often, these guns are treated as toys, without regard to the dangers they pose. As with all types of guns, adult supervision for children to ensure they are following safety precautions is necessary for everyone’s well-being.”
There was a tragic incident in Kalamazoo County in 2021 where a 12-year-old boy, Deven Free, was shot in the head with a BB gun while playing with other young teens. He eventually died of his injury. Rogers’ bill would restore the commonsense requirement that kids should not be using pellet and BB guns unsupervised.
Nearly 10,000 Americans are injured with BB and pellet guns every year, and a majority of those injured are under the age of 18. Until 2015, it was a misdemeanor in Michigan for a minor to use or possess a pneumatic gun outside their home or yard unless accompanied by an adult. House Bill 4184 would restore this requirement for adult supervision and re-establish the misdemeanor penalties.