BB gun safety is extremely important. You have probably been told more than once that BB guns are not toys. And yet, many people still treat them as such. Has no one seen the ill-fated scene in the movie "A Christmas Story" when Ralphie fails to heed the warning of "You'll shoot your eye out?"
Does no one remember that he did, indeed, practically shoot his eye out with his Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle? Of course, if he had followed basic BB gun safety rules, he would have been fine. Had he been wearing protective eyewear, instead of just his glasses, he would have been much better off. Had he not shot at a surface with such potential for ricochet... well, you get the point.
Anyhow, movies aside, BB gun safety truly is extremely important. Many people do not realize how easy it is to injure someone (or even potentially kill someone) with a BB gun. The same gun safety rules must be followed when using BB guns as when using any other type of gun.
This is especially important if you are training your child on a BB gun before you allow he or she to shoot a real gun. Make sure they learn BB gun safety, and subsequently basic gun safety, right off the bat.
Here are some of the most important BB gun safety rules:
· Treat all guns as though they are loaded. Never assume that a gun is not loaded.
· Never point your BB gun at anyone. It does not matter if it is not loaded!
· Check out both local and federal laws and regulations. Different states have different BB gun safety laws and rules. Certain guns are not allowed in certain places.
· Do not fire at a target unless you know everything surrounding the target. Do not shoot if there is a potential that someone is behind or on the sides of the target... you might miss!
· Keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire.
· As stated above, in the "A Christmas Story" incident, always where protective eyewear. Also wear a protective mask.
· Realize that BBs can ricochet. Be aware of the type of surface you are shooting at. BBs ricochet more easily off of certain surfaces. Flat surfaces, hard surfaces, and the water all surfaces that BBs may ricochet off of. Also make sure that the target is not at an angle.
· Start out shooting at a shooting range. It is a good and much safer place to learn how to shoot.
· Do not allow minors (persons under 18 years of age) to shoot any type of gun (not even a BB gun) with out active adult supervision.
· Now that BB guns are made to look more and more realistic, some people can mistake them for real guns. This makes them potentially dangerous! If someone (including and especially a policeman) thinks you have a real gun, he or she may act differently around you. You could be putting yourself and others in danger. Do not carry your BB gun in a public place. Doing so may actually be illegal in your state.
· Do not alter the color of your BB gun. If it has a fluorescent orange tip, that is for a reason! Policeman have been known to shoot and fire upon children who have removed the safety orange color form their guns, because the policemen could no longer recognize the guns as anything but real guns.
· It is not recommended that children under the age of 16 are allowed to operate a high velocity BB gun. Take a look at the velocity type of your BB gun or air rifle before using. The warning will likely say, "May be dangerous up to 350 yards," as well as other warnings. Be sure to follow all warnings.
· Always check to make sure the gun is not loaded. Point the gun away from people and animals and squeeze the trigger (again, avoid pointing it at things that it might ricochet off of.
· Do not carry a loaded BB gun when climbing over fences or up trees or even when jumping. Doing so could cause the gun to go off.
· Keep care of your gun. A damaged or dirty gun is more likely to cause injury.
· One rule of BB gun safety that is too often overlooked is that you should always use new ammo in your BB gun. It does not matter if it is expensive. Not doing so is dangerous and can degrade your gun more quickly.
Be sure to follow these rules of BB gun safety. Also, teach BB gun safety to anyone that you see who is not properly following these important rules!