Family First is expressing horror at the ease with which under-age teenagers are able to purchase BB guns and other look-a-like guns.
They are concerned that both members of the public and the teenagers themselves are being put at risk by carrying guns which either look real or have the potential to injure people.
This comes in the wake of a weekend where concern has been expressed over the level of ‘street’ bullying and teenagers carrying weapons, and an incident involving a teenager being shot in the face with a BB gun.
Family First has evidence of a 17 year old purchasing a BB gun from a street market, despite being under the age of 18, and without being asked for any evidence of ID.
“The ease with which he was able to purchase the gun for as little as $20, and the potential to then cause mayhem either by pointing it at an innocent bystander, threatening other people at parties or gatherings, and the possible reaction by police if a report is made of a person brandishing a gun is all a recipe for disaster,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“With an increasing prevalence of teenagers walking around with weapons, gang warfare, and physical and violent intimidation and bullying, it is worrying that a teenager can have such easy access to a weapon.”
From further investigation, Family First were able to ascertain how easy it is to purchase these guns, even on TradeMe. Despite the message that they only sell to people over 18, one company was selling different types of guns with the message that the guns “feeling (sic) real”, the buyer will “have much fun”, and “High Recommand Use Good Quanlity 6mm BB Bullets (sic)”.
(Source http://www.trademe.co.nz/Sports/Hunting-shooting/Air-guns/BB-guns/auction-118658652.htm?p=9 )
“The police simply do not have the luxury of ascertaining whether the gun is fake and bought on TradeMe when confronting an aggressive person, or attending an Armed Defenders Call-Out. The public are being put at huge risk with these weapons,” says Mr McCoskrie.
Family First is calling for:
an immediate ban on the sale of look-a-like guns which can be mistaken for a real gun
restriction on the sale of BB and pellet-type guns
stronger censorship of video games, music videos and movies which glorify and feed the violence we are seeing more and more on our streets
“So-called ‘freedom of expression’ and ‘free market’ should never be at the expense of the safety of families,” says Mr McCoskrie.