School-aged children and their parents at a Philadelphia school had a tough day recently; a day that was difficult for parents and children throughout America as well. While a shooting in a suburban Cleveland high school left one student dead and another four injured, something was happening close to home too. Here in North Philadelphia, a fifth-grader also went on a rampage around his school with a BB gun. The shooting occurred on 27th and Clearfield streets at the John Whitter School. School personnel has said that the student could be expelled after he shot one classmate with a plastic pellet and threatened another with his BB gun.
While the student in this situation was not injured by the shot, this is no laughing matter. Parents around the country are fearful when sending their children to school, any incident major or minor, may increase those fears. While not all schools in Philadelphia have metal detectors, the BB gun may not have even been picked up if this school had one, because it was plastic. In fact most schools outside of the City of Philadelphia do not have metal detectors at all.
BB guns may not have the same impact as firearms or handguns but they are still scary and can cause harm. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported that four deaths occur every year from BB gun accidents or defects. Consumers often underestimate the power of a BB gun and the seriousness of injuries that could occur due to a BB gun accident. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated around 30,000 people visited the emergency room in the past year for BB gun/non-powdered gun related injuries. The most common injuries occurring from BB gun accidents are to the face, head, neck, and eye. Some injuries can cause permanent disability, or death. With no national safety standards for BB guns, the CPSC has issued warnings that most BB gun safety manuals do not include injury-prevention specifications for minors.
Because of the lack of warnings, it’s the responsibility of the BB gun owner to know how to operate and keep their BB gun safe. Parents who own a BB gun need to take special precautions to ensure their children keep their hands off of the weapon. Precautions, such as locking BB guns away, taking out ammunition, disassembling after use, and teaching children about gun safety, should be a priority in these homes. The Pennsylvania BB gun accident lawyers at Reiff and Bily understand the importance of gun safety and know that mishandling firearms and failing to follow safety protocol can lead to tragedy. We will fight to hold those responsible for you or your loved one’s injury or wrongful death for their negligence. If you have been injured or threatened with a BB gun and you believe you may have a claim, please call Reiff and Bily at 1-800-421-9595 or contact us online at www.reiffandbily.com.