CA Legislators Pass Bill to Regulate BB Guns

“They’ll have to pry my BB gun from my cold, dead arms,” one commenter wrote on the legislative web page for AB 2333. The bill, by Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Anaheim, will require parents to keep BB guns under lock and key safely away from minors, or face a $200 fine and a requirement to perform community service, after receiving written warnings.

I am not aware of any recent outbreaks of BB gun assaults on the public.

“I can’t believe that we are actually bringing a bill like this, about imitation firearms,” Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Hesperia, said in floor debate Wednesday. “…to store away from the kids, but they are for kids to use.”

Solorio replied that because the guns look like real guns, the bill is necessary. And he added that children have even died from BB gun shootings.

Solorio’s flawed reasoning that BB guns kill, is nearly as absurd as blaming SUVs for killing pedestrians. It’s the people using the BB guns that are unsafe when there is an accident.

Boys and their toys

As I listened to debate on this bill, it was difficult keeping a straight face.

Attempts to ban BB guns and airsoft rifles have been defeated in the past. But AB 2333 passed the Senate and just had amendments approved in the Assembly Wednesday. If this bill finds its way to the governor,  California’s reputation as a nutty state will be forever sealed.

My husband and I have four boys in our family. And each of the four had BB guns, air soft pellet guns, toy handguns, and even rubber band guns. When they were very little, they made guns out of Legos and sticks. Anything that looked like a gun was fair game. They played Army, and loved lugging around plastic M-16s and airsoft rifles while wearing plastic military helmets, pretending to be covert military spies.

They were normal.

Nonsensical, illogical, nanny state laws

In California, Democrats want to decriminalize drugs, but ban BB guns. California Democrats have been trying to take away constitutional rights to gun ownership, while they simultaneously unload thousands of criminals from state prisons and jails onto our streets and into our neighborhoods.

Yet gun ownership and concealed carry permit applications are up. It seems that the more rights liberals try to take away, the more that Americans dig their heels in, and insist on those rights.

Deep pockets

In 2001, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission filed a lawsuit against Daisy Manufacturing Co., the maker of the famous Red Ryder BB gun, and sought to force Daisy to recall two of its popular BB-gun models. But there was no defect or legitimate safety reason for the lawsuit. The Consumer Product Safety Commission said there had been complaints of “misfirings,” and specifically cited a 1999 injury case.

Representatives from Daisy said that anyone who has been hurt by the BB gun ignored clear warnings on the packaging, which state that the imitation firearms can be dangerous if improperly used.

The famous injury case used against the Daisy Manufacturing Company was greatly misreported. The real complaints about the BB guns weren’t  that they misfired, but that they actually fired when their users thought they were empty.

In 1999, two boys had been playing with a BB gun. They thought it was empty.  One of the boys pumped up the rifle, cocked it, pointed it at the other boy’s head, and pulled the trigger. A BB lodged in the brain of the other boy, and his parents sued Daisy Manufacturing Company.

The air rifle “could not possibly be discharged unless the shooter first pulled a bolt handle to the rear, pushed the bolt handle forward again, pumped the gun to attain necessary air pressure, disengaged the safety and, finally, pulled the trigger,” one outdoor writer explained.

No one can be shot, accidentally or on purpose, unless a gun is actually pointed at that person, which is in violation of the most elemental firearms safety rule.

Instead of a recall, the federal agency ended up agreeing to a settlement with the Daisy company to instead promote safe BB-gun usage; but only after the Daisy company paid $18 million to the parents of the injured boy, who eventually died of the brain injury.

There is no word on whether the parents sued the family of the boy who pulled the trigger.

Legislators are famous for twisting reality to fit their agendas. Solorio’s AB 2333 is a textbook case of manipulating the facts to appease anti-gun activists, and overzealous police representatives. BB guns don’t kill or injure kids–irresponsible, careless kids who don’t use BB guns correctly are to blame, as are their parents.

(Katy Grimes is a longtime political analyst, writer and journalist, and CalWatchdog’s news reporter. Originally posted on CalWatchdog.)