Boston, Mass., is one of several municipalities where legislators are weighing a citywide ban on BB and pellet guns, citing incidents in which imitation firearms were mistaken for the real thing. Local law already prohibits minors from carrying air rifles or BB guns in public without adult supervision or a police-issued license. Now even these exceptions are targeted for elimination.
Youth across America learn the rudiments of marksmanship and gun safety from air rifles and BB guns. The main justification employed for banning them is that they look too similar to real firearms—but many do not, and even realistic models are required by federal law to be distinguished by orange tips. Banning an entire class of low-power guns because of the abuses of a few individuals is just another example of government overreach—and unreasoning fear of firearms and things that look like them.