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Safety Risks Noted for ‘Nonpowder’ Guns

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“Nonpowder” guns can pack a serious, and sometimes fatal, punch and should never be considered toys, concludes a report released in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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"Injury Risk of Nonpowder Guns," is available online from Pediatrics.

The report says that so-called nonpowder guns—which include BB guns, pellet guns, air-powered rifles, and paintball guns—can shoot at a velocity ranging from 150 feet per second to more than 1,200 feet per second. The velocity range of a real pistol is 750 feet per second to 1,450 feet per second.

One of the main problems with nonpowder guns is that they are not perceived to be dangerous, the report says. But in 2000, the United States had 21,840 nonpowder-gun-related injuries, 51 percent of which were in children under the age of 15. In addition, from 1990 to 2000, the report says there were 39 reported nonpowder-gun-related deaths, 32 of which were children under 15.

Vol. 24, Issue 11, Page 9

Published in Print: November 10, 2004, as Safety Risks Noted for ‘Nonpowder’ Guns

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