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would you let your 14yr old have a bb gun?

(49 Posts)
toffeebunny Sun 16-Jun-13 19:34:38

My 14 yr old son is pestering me for a bb gun...again. He did this a couple of years ago and I adamantly said no once I'd researched it a bit. It was easier then, he was 12, a bit all over the place and not very sensible. He's now much more mature, aware of the risks and is telling me he feels very left out because all his friends have one. He told me recently when he goes to their homes sometimes they have bb wars in the garden or woods and he borrows a gun. I've told him I will research it a bit more and talk to other parents. I'm confused totally about the whole thing. He's my youngest child and my older son never had an interest so this hasn't arisen before. Some of these friends who have guns have the most sensible and careful parents. Am I being over anxious? He doesn't want a really expensive one...about £30 or so with a power of 300 FPS. He says the lower ones of 150 are not worth having. Any thoughts???

MuchBrighterNow Sun 16-Jun-13 19:46:53

My Ds both bought themselves BB guns with their birthday money. I hate them, they look exactly like real guns. I guess it's a boy thing because I tried to bring them up as pacifists confused

Having said that, at least it gets them off the x box and outside running around with their mates. I have a rule that they have to wear eye protection.(cheap work safety glasses). You can buy biodegradable balls too.

flow4 Sun 16-Jun-13 21:46:00

They're not illegal in England, but there are lots of legal constraints that affect their use. It is illegal for 14 year-olds to be firing them in woods, for instance; they can only fire them on private land with the permission of the land owner. My own feeling is that playing with them is so tempting that few 14yos are mature and self-controlled enough to stick strictly to what's legal. There's always a possibility that a BB gun will be mistaken for a real gun, so if you live in a city/area with a gun crime problem, they're an especially bad idea.
There's a summary of the law from Cleveland police here and
more info from Thames Valley police here.

flow4 Sun 16-Jun-13 21:48:40

By the way Brighter, if your boys' BB guns look 'exactly' like real guns, then they might be illegal: people can only own those realistic models if they are over 18 AND members of a soft-air gun club.

Confuseddd Sun 16-Jun-13 21:54:28

One of the young people I work with got kicked out of college for taking one in. It caused stress and anxiety to staff. Police called in.

This is such a no brained for me, I cannot even understand why you are asking the question. No... Just no.

Confuseddd Sun 16-Jun-13 21:55:03

no brainer

MuchBrighterNow Sun 16-Jun-13 22:04:34

I'm not in the uk Flow , Ds' best friend's dad's a cop and his son has the full arsenal confused. Round here there are so many real guns i don't think anyone's bothered about replicas sad
I think you are right though about there being much tighter control in the uk.

flow4 Sun 16-Jun-13 22:18:35

Sounds stressful, Brighter. sad

AuntieMaggie Sun 16-Jun-13 22:25:26

After this incident which apparently was a group of teenagers having bb wars next to the school where several of the primary school children got hit then no I wouldn't.

cornypedicure Sun 16-Jun-13 22:26:15

no I wouldn't

AuntieMaggie Sun 16-Jun-13 22:27:16

Sorry link fail - here

purplewithred Sun 16-Jun-13 22:32:42

It's a gun. No.

ripsishere Mon 17-Jun-13 02:44:25

Not a chance. My mum has one to get the pigeons and herons in her garden, but boys having a 'war' with them? not a chance.

nooka Mon 17-Jun-13 03:23:08

You can do a surprising amount of damage with a bb gun (kill small animals, smash windows etc.) and if your son's friends are using them for playing 'wars' then it sounds highly irresponsible to me. Where I live now (semi rural Canada) lots of families hunt and many children learn to shoot, but it's taken very seriously. My children have both done a bit of target practice, formally and informally and they are absolutely and always told that they should never ever point a gun at someone. People can and do get hurt. At the very least those children should be wearing eye protection.

If kids want to shoot at each other there are plenty of toy products on the market (NERF guns are very popular here) where there is much less risk of injury.

nooka Mon 17-Jun-13 03:26:47

Sorry, didn't actually answer the question blush. I have a 14 year old ds, and no I would not let him buy a bb gun, although I am happy for him to learn to shoot with a trusted adult (Although it's dd who is more interested).

NewFerry Mon 17-Jun-13 07:31:49

Another no here
DS friend had one and stupidly took it into school. DS came home with 2 very nasty bruises on his legs
And friend rightly got suspended

If they want to run round the wood shooting, take them to a local paint balling centre. We can use tesco club card vouchers at our local one so its very cheap

waikikamookau Mon 17-Jun-13 07:42:01

no, my neighbour was shooting at our rabbits and guineapigs from his bedroom window.

toffeebunny Mon 17-Jun-13 23:25:21

I appreciate all your comments...i have talked to my son and we have researched injuries caused by these guns and he is thankfully going off the idea a bit...although says he has always worn goggles and protective face mask when he has used them at his friends. The issue of shooting at animals would never have arisen with him fortunately...and I am asking the question confuseddd as this is a genuine issue on which opinion varies and I am looking for advice...

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 18-Jun-13 01:07:43

It would help if you said where you live. In the UK I know of someone who got a fire-arms offence on his record due to misuse of a BB gun. I think, even if you live somewhere fairly gun friendly, if they caused damage to someone else's property then they may well get into serious trouble.

toffeebunny Tue 18-Jun-13 17:25:36

we are in a quiet part of Kent, very peaceful and little crime. My son was horrified when I told him it was against the law to be shooting in the woods...even though it was woodland that bordered his friends garden and he knows not to do that again. His friends parents had gone out and left the boys to their own devices.

cq Tue 18-Jun-13 17:30:34

No way. But I am fighting a losing battle in this family - BIL bought DS (14) an air rifle for Christmas without even consulting me first.

That's the same BIL who gave him Call of Duty pc game (rated 18) when he was 10. Again, without even thinking to check if I was ok with it. Arse. angry

So muggins here always looks like the big bad parent who takes toys away.

SabrinaMulhollandJjones Tue 18-Jun-13 17:32:55

No. No way.

tuttifrootie Tue 18-Jun-13 18:42:52

I understand your feelings - we have always been very against them but when he was 15, our son just went out and got himself one anyway (got an older mate to get it for him). I am against guns anyway but bb guns scare the wits out of me as so many kids don't realise the danger and treat them as toys.

We felt we were powerless once it was in the house and he'd bought it with his own money but tried to enforce some restrictions as we also have a younger son to protect.

So, after a few months of worry and constant aggro caused by him not sticking to our rules we caught him messing around with it in the presence of younger ds and next time he was out, we just got rid of it.

I really thought he would go mental but funnily enough, he never mentioned it!

tuttifrootie Tue 18-Jun-13 18:45:17

Forgot to add, I did show him a picture (google) of a poor little lad whose brother accidentally shot him. He was all wired up in ITC and sadly died but I made them both look at it and it was the following day we threw the gun out so I think it may have got the message over.

daisydoodoo Wed 19-Jun-13 09:50:46

ds2 is 11 and has bb gun, but he's very sensible with it and he only uses it for target practice in our garden. When he's not using it it I hidden by me in my bedroom in a different place each time.

ds2 is already well versed in the safety procedures around guns as goes clay pigeon shooting with his grandfather each week at a registered club.

ds1 who is 15 on the other hand I wouldn't allow him to have a bb gun as he's not sensible enough. I wouldn't trust ds1 with a nerf gun let alone something that fires pellets/balls.

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