Youll Shoot Your Eye Out: BB Gun Accidents & Injuries
Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Dec 16, 2013 in Personal Injury
In the words of Mrs. Parker from A Christmas Story, You'll shoot your eye out. This famous line was said in response to Ralphie's request for a Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle for Christmas. Statistically speaking, she is not that far off. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are nearly 30,000 BB and pellet gun accidents and injuries each year, while these accidents may cause a variety of injuries, and less commonly, death.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission performed a study from June 1992 to May 1994. Based on the study's findings, around 47,137 children and teens were treated for BB or pellet gun injuries in hospital emergency departments within this time. The study also demonstrated that related injuries were more common in males and children between the ages of 10 and 14.
In fact, contrary to many beliefs, the most common type of injury caused by BB and pellet guns were actually severe eye injuries, which occurred in 37 percent of the cases, while 66 percent of the shootings were unintentional, 31 percent were self-inflicted, and 33 percent were caused by friends, relatives, or acquaintances.
According the AC Homan, US Consumer Product Safety Commission, an estimated 3.2 million non-powdered guns are sold in the United States every year, while 80 percent of these guns have muzzle velocities over 350 feet per second, and 50 percent have muzzle velocities between 500 to 930 feet per second, and are intended for people between the ages of eight and 18.
Many people fail to recognize that BB and pellet guns that fire at velocities over 350 feet per second have the ability to produce tissue damages similar to that caused by a powder-charged bullet of a conventional firearm. This amount of power can inflict permanent disability and even death.
As a result, 14 states have passed laws to regulate the sale and possession of non-powdered guns. Of course, in most of these states, the age restrictions are void once a minor obtains a parent or guardians permission to purchase these guns.
After viewing these statistics, it is proof that there is a chance a child could shoot their eye out. Of course, we can expect that children will continue to receive BB and pellet guns for Christmas, and other holidays, therefore we must instruct our children on how to handle and use these guns in order to keep themselves, and others safe, or else, they may indeed shoot their eye out.