COMMENT: Federal Regulation of BB Guns: Aiming to Protect Our Children Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your lexis.com® ID to access the full text of this article.
-OR-
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a lexis.com® ID.
 
Price: 
US $22.00 (+ tax)
 
 

Copyright (c) 2002 North Carolina Law Review
North Carolina Law Review

COMMENT: Federal Regulation of BB Guns: Aiming to Protect Our Children

March, 2002

80 N.C.L. Rev. 975

Author

Sabrina K. Presnell
 


APPENDIX
 
This appendix indicates how a complete regulatory scheme might appear if both the CPSA and another legislative act granting the CPSC additional regulatory power were used.

Part XXXX - Regulation of BB Guns

Sec. XXXX.1 Scope, Application, and Effective Date

(a) Scope, basis, and purpose. The Commission declares current regulation of BB guns to be unsatisfactory, such that they create an unreasonably dangerous product for consumers. This consumer product safety standard prescribes BB gun requirements to reduce or eliminate the risk that children and adults will die or be injured from pellets shot from BB guns.

(b) BB guns and similar products that are articles intended for use by children are regulated not under the CPSA but under the FHSA. 349

(c) Application and effective date. The standards in this part apply to all BB guns that are manufactured in the United States or imported, on or after month day, year.

Sec. XXXX.3 Definitions

(a) A BB gun is any gun that is designed to discharge projectiles using energy released by compressed air, compressed gas, or mechanical spring-piston action.

(b) For purposes of this standard, each BB gun will fit into one of three different classes:

(1) A Class A BB gun is one that is capable of shooting a pellet with a muzzle velocity of less than 340 feet per second.

(2) A Class B BB gun is one that is capable of shooting a pellet with a muzzle velocity of 340 fps - 700 fps.

(3) A Class C BB gun is one that shoots with a muzzle velocity of over 700 fps.

(c) A manufacturer is defined as any person or company that manufactures more than 10 BB guns per year of any class.

(d) A retailer is defined as any person or company that sells more than 2 BB guns per year of any class.

(e) A pellet is defined as any BB or pellet made of lead, brass or steel. 350

Sec. XXXX.4 Requirements in Manufacturing

(a) All Class B and Class C BB guns must be equipped with a load indicator that allows the shooter to determine if the gun is loaded.

(b) All Class B and Class C BB guns must be equipped with a safety that can be enabled easily to keep the gun from firing until the safety is released. The safety must not be able to be released from a drop of the gun.

(c) All pneumatic BB guns in Class B or Class C must require more than XX foot pounds of pressure to pump them once they have been pumped ten times.

Sec. XXXX.5 Requirements in Labeling

(a) All Class A BB guns must contain a label displayed prominently on the box, in the instruction manual, and permanently attached to the gun that states: "WARNING: THIS PRODUCT CAN CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY TO THE HUMAN EYE AND IS CAPABLE OF PENETRATING HUMAN SKIN. NEVER POINT THE WEAPON AT ANYONE. ALWAYS TREAT THE WEAPON AS IF IT IS LOADED."

(b) All Class B and Class C BB guns must contain a label displayed prominently on the box, in the instruction manual, and permanently attached to the gun that states: "WARNING: THIS GUN CAN KILL YOU. THIS IS NOT A TOY. NOT TO BE USED BY CHILDREN UNDER 16 YEARS OF AGE. NEVER POINT THE WEAPON AT ANYONE. ALWAYS ENGAGE THE SAFETY WHEN THE GUN IS NOT IN USE. DO NOT STORE LOADED. ALWAYS TREAT THE WEAPON AS IF IT IS LOADED."

(c) Any gun that does not contain the appropriate warnings will be considered an unreasonably dangerous product and is automatically banned.

Sec. XXXX.6 Instruction Booklets

(a) Every BB gun will contain an instruction manual that measures 8.5"x11". The booklet must contain on the front the same warning that is required in the Labeling section.

(b) Every instruction booklet will give appropriate instruction encouraging the use of protective eyewear.

(c) Every instruction booklet for Class B and C BB guns will contain instruction on how and when to use the safety and load indicator.

(d) Every instruction booklet for Class B and C BB guns cannot contain any depiction of a person using the gun who could reasonably be considered to be under the age of 25.

Sec. XXXX.7 Marketing

(a) All Class A BB guns must be sold in the sporting gun section of stores and can not be sold in stores that deal primarily in toys.

(b) All Class B and C BB guns must be sold in the sporting gun section of stores and must be kept in locked cabinets near powder guns sold by the store. Class B and C BB guns cannot be sold in stores that do not sell powder guns, unless the store sells only BB guns and accessories.

(c) The ammunition for Class B and C guns must be stored at least 25 feet from the guns.

(d) Any advertisement for Class B and C guns must state that the guns are not toys and cannot depict any person reasonably who could be considered to be under the age of 25 using the gun.

(e) All depictions of people on the boxes of Class B and C guns cannot be of persons who reasonably could be considered to be under the age of 25.

Sec. XXXX.8 Sales

(a) No Class A BB guns shall be sold to a person under the age of 18 who is not accompanied by a parent or guardian. If the sale is made to a child under the age of 18, the parent or guardian must sign a consent form that describes the dangers of the gun and verifies that the child is over the age of 12.

(b) No Class B or C BB guns shall be sold to a person under the age of 18. Retailers are to check a valid identification before selling the gun to the consumer. The consumer also must sign a consent form that describes the danger of the gun and verifies that the gun will not be given to a child under the age of 18.

(c) All consent forms are to be kept by the retailer for six years from the date of sale.

(d) Any retailer who fails to check identification or maintain appropriate records is subject to liability for damages due to the retailer's negligence as well as punitive fines.

Sec. XXXX.9 Findings 351

The Consumer Product Safety Act requires that the Commission, in order to issue a standard, make the following findings and include them in the rule. 15 U.S.C. 2058(f)(3). These findings are contained in the appendix to this part XXXX.

(a) The rule in this part, including its effective date of month day, year, is reasonably necessary to eliminate or reduce an unreasonable risk of injury associated with the product.

(b) Promulgation of the rule is in the public interest.

(c) Where a voluntary standard has been adopted and implemented by the affected industry, that compliance with such voluntary standard is not likely to result in the elimination or adequate reduction of the risk of injury; or it is unlikely that there will be substantial compliance with such voluntary standard.

(d) The benefits expected from the rule bear a reasonable relationship to its costs.

(e) The rule imposes the least burdensome requirement that prevents or adequately reduces the risk of injury for which the rule is being promulgated.

Sec. XXXX.10 Test Methods

Here the rule would explain how the Commission staff would test the manufacturing requirements. The technical explanation that is necessary for this section is not within the range of this Comment.

Excerpt



Introduction - Defining A Tragedy
 
On September 18, 1993, seven-year-old Josh Moss finally convinced his father, Larry, to buy him a Crosman 760 Pumpmaster BB gun at the local K-Mart. 1 Although Larry noted the warning on the gun box that said, "May cause death or injury," he paid it no attention, assuming it "might just be referring to birds or small animals." 2 Upon returning home, Larry opened the box, gave Josh the gun, and briefly instructed him on how to use it. 3 As Larry took the gun out of the box to hand it to Josh, he missed two important warnings, one in the manual on page two 4 and a separate flyer included in the packaging labeled "A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO PARENTS." 5

Two days later, Josh and his eleven-year-old cousin, Tim, were shooting the gun at cans placed in a tree. 6 When it was Tim's turn to shoot, Josh hid behind a tree in front of Tim. 7 As Tim fired the gun, Josh peeked his head out from behind the tree. 8 The pellet hit Josh in the head, entered his brain and killed him almost instantly. 9

Josh's parents sued the gun manufacturer (Crosman) and the retailer (K-Mart) in Indiana state court. 10 The Mosses alleged that both Crosman and K-Mart were responsible for Josh's death because the BB gun sold was defective and unreasonably dangerous. 11 The complaint alleged product liability under two theories: the gun's design allowed ...
 
 
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.
Search Documents
 
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy
 
 
 
 

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

 
LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to lexis.com
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities