On Friday, June 10, a 13-year-old Southampton boy was arrested for menacing and unlawful possession of a firearm of a person under 16, Southampton Town police report.
The boy, who’s name has not been released because he’s a juvenile, purchased a BB gun on Amazon and began shooting bushes in his yard. He then saw two workers across the street from his residence and shot at them multiple times “to see their reaction,” police said.
Thinking they were being shot at by an actual weapon, the workers, t ran for cover until they realized it was a BB gun and called police. Officers responded and made sure the workers were not injured. They also checked the area and found no damage to property.
Southampton Town Police officers arrested the juvenile and gave him an appearance ticket to respond to family court with his parents.
School Shooting Fears High
While the incident occurred outside of school and had no connection to any school threats, it comes during a time when police and the community are feeling heightened awareness about the seriousness of kids with guns. During the previous week, at least four students had been accused of threatening violence against schools in Riverhead and Westhampton Beach. And a 15-year-old Greenport High School student was arrested Friday for making threats to shoot up his school.
These threats, and numerous others at schools throughout Long Island, were made in the days following the May 24 shooting massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
BB guns, which use compressed or pumped air to fire small metal spheres (or BBs), are not powerful enough to cause serious injury in most areas of the body, but a BB shot to the eye could blind someone or worse. High velocity BB guns — with muzzle velocities higher than 350 feet per second — are especially risky, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which reports about four deaths per year caused by BB guns or pellet rifles, a similar but stronger style of air gun which shoots conical projectiles that can be flat or pointed.
Neither of these should be confused with airsoft, another style of air gun made to fire small plastic BBs that are designed to shoot at others during combat games. All of these air guns, including airsoft, should never be brandished in public as they could easily be confused for a real firearm and cause police or others to respond with real bullets.
The CPSC warns that children under 16 years of age should not use high-velocity BB or pellet guns. And, like all firearms, these guns should never be aimed at another person.