LANSING, Mich., Sept. 29, 2022 — State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 6447 on Wednesday 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 tragic consequences,” Rogers said. “All too often, these guns are treated as toys. Similar to any other type of gun, it makes sense to have an adult there to make sure kids are following safety precautions with pneumatic guns.”
There was a tragic incident near Kalamazoo in 2021 where a 12-year-old boy, Deven Free, was shot with a BB gun while playing with other young teens. He ultimately died of his injury, and his family is working to raise awareness of how BB guns are not toys. Rogers’ bill would restore the common-sense requirement that kids should not be using pellet and BB guns unsupervised.
Tens of thousands of Americans are injured with BB, paintball and pellet guns every year, and four out of five of those injured are under the age of 18. In cases where a child or teenager received a serious eye injury from a pneumatic gun, 89 percent were not supervised by an adult at the time. 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 6447 would restore this requirement for adult supervision.