Friday, December 29, 2006

Police: youths pointed airsoft air guns at man

Two 15-year-old boys from Sheboygan were arrested Wednesday night after a man said they pointed handguns at him on Sheboygan’s south side.

According to a Sheboygan Police Department press release, the man was in his car near King Park at the east end of Broadway Avenue and South Seventh Street at 8:20 p.m. when four teens approached the vehicle. Two of the youths pulled realistic-looking handguns from their pockets and pointed them at the man, who got out of his car and ran away, the press release said.

A Sheboygan police officer located the teens several blocks away and arrested them at gunpoint. Two Airsoft handguns, which are similar to a real Sig Sauer handgun, were located in a nearby trashcan.

Two of the teens were referred to juvenile authorities for charges of disorderly conduct and released to their parents. Two other teens, ages 15 and 16, were released and will not face charges.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

To celebrate the Prince of Peace's birthday: a gun (airsoft gun)

It's no accident that one of our most cherished holiday movies is "A Christmas Story."

What's more quintessentially American, even on the Prince of Peace's birthday, than desperately wanting a gun.

In the film, set in the 1940s, little Ralphie Parker yearns for "an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing,' which tells time." His petitions fail to convince mother, teacher or Santa, all of whom warn that he's gonna shoot his eye out.

They got it wrong.

What makes more sense, in George W. Bush's America, than giving a kid a gun for Christmas? If the President has his way, generations of future Americans will be patrolling Baghdad. They might as well know how to defend themselves from the people we're supposed to be helping.

According to the Professional Gun Retailers Association, some 200,000 guns will be given as gifts this Christmas season, and more than 100,000 of them will be youth-sized rifles and shotguns.

For those who can't convince their parents to arm them with the real thing, there's still a place on the Christmas list for paint ball or laser tag equipment. Or, even more fun, the popular new pellet guns that look satisfyingly like lethal weapons and are used to play airsoft, a military-style game that's been especially popular in Asia.

As the Associated Press reported last week, airsoft-type weapons "have gotten at least one teenager killed in Florida and have caused scares at schools around the country in recent months."

If those shepherds on the hillside near Bethlehem had been equipped with airsoft rifles instead of wooden crooks, they might have had less trouble keeping watch over their flocks by night.

Can't you just see them, kneeling at the manger, Kalashnikov replicas reverently at the ready and mock Glocks tucked into their rope belts?

The police, of course, are not so enthusiastic about kids, or anybody else, carrying around what look for all the world like real weapons, especially when the required bright orange tips identifying them as fakes have been removed or blackened.

"That was the case last January in Florida's Seminole County," reports Amy Forliti of The Associated Press, "where 15-year-old Christopher Penley was shot to death by a SWAT officer as Penley brandished an airsoft pistol at school. The muzzle of the 9mm lookalike had been painted black."

I know, I know. The whole anti-gun thing can be overdone. If you try to keep toy rifles out of the hands of children, they'll just jerk the handle from the toilet plunger or whatever else is handy and point it at you.

Goo-goos always go too far.

Consider the idiotic "zero-tolerance" policy against weapons at Portsmouth High School in Rhode Island. Based on it, the principal has refused to let Patrick Agin use the photo of himself in chain mail, holding a broadsword, as his senior portrait in the yearbook.

Patrick is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, which researches and recreates medieval history. The school would have let him run the Middle Ages glamour shot as a paid ad in the yearbook, but not in the senior snapshot section.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing. But don't blame the ACLU.

Blame whoever made such a dumb decision.

Kids will be kids.

That sawed-up Christmas tree you toss in the alley next week could become, with a little pruning, some latter-day Ralphie's sawed-off shotgun.

David Hawpe's columns appear Sundays and Wednesdays on the editorial page. His e-mail address is

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Reilly files lawsuit against 7 airsoft gun retailers

Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly filed suit yesterday against six out-of-state online retailers and one Massachusetts store owner to stop sales of ‘‘look-alike’’ BB guns and air rifles to minors. The lawsuit follows an undercover sting operation conducted by Reilly’s office, which enlisted the help of a 16-year-old boy who easily purchased the guns online. Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., the Sports Authority, GSI Commerce Solutions, Airsoft Atlanta Inc., and a Norwood store, Xtreme Action Paintball, have agreed to pay penalties and amend their sales policies and procedures. Reilly is seeking preliminary injunctions against Jungle Toy LLC and Tactical Innovations to prevent them from selling to minors in Massachusetts, where the law prohibits the sale of an air rifle or BB gun to anyone younger than 18.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Fake pistol (airsoft gun) breaks, thwarts Redmond ATM holdup

A Redmond robber tried to hold up a woman making a late-night bank ATM deposit, but his plastic fake pistol (airsoft gun) broke when he hit her on the head with it, officers said.
Police were on the hunt Saturday for suspects in the alleged holdup try, which occurred shortly before midnight at the Bank of the Cascades at 2542 S. Highway 97, said Redmond Officer Lee Gilbert.

A Redmond Cinemas employee making a night deposit said the unknown male subject "came up from behind, hit her on the head with a plastic Airsoft gun," Gilbert said. "It broke, pieces fell on the ground."

The deposit had already dropped into the ATM when the robber made his attempt, the officer added.

The victim's husband and someone accompanying them chased the robber, who ran to a vehicle and took off in it, with someone else apparently at the wheel, Gilbert said. A police search of the area failed to turn up the suspects in the assault and attempted robbery, he added.

"We have more information that we're following up on," the officer said, declining to reveal details that could hinder the investigation.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Great Airsoft Gun Training Tactics

We’ve all shot multiple-target drills. To start, the shooter usually stands seven yards from three evenly spaced targets. A buzzer or whistle signals the beginning of the drill, which requires the shooter to fire a set number of shots on each target, either from the ready position or the holster. There might be a reload in the middle, or maybe not. The shooter usually stands still with no use-of-cover required. Normally, a very liberal time frame is placed on the drill — six shots in 20 seconds, something like that. The time frame must remain liberal because the intent is not to challenge the shooter, but to get them qualified in some type of multiple-target drill so they can go back on the street. After all, the goal is not to prepare the officer for what they’ll likely face if they’re involved in a gunfight with multiple adversaries (I could use the more palatable word “confrontation,” but gunfight is the reality); the goal is to meet some agency or state qualification mandate. After all, qualification is the same as preparation, right?

Some would have you think so, but nothing could be further from the truth. Let’s face facts: All defensive firearms training is artificial. It’s a method for preparing officers for armed conflict through skill-building, but there’s no way the stress and pandemonium of life and death can be incorporated into any training drill or scenario, including Airsoft or SIMUNITION, because the expectation or possibility of death has been all but eliminated. As trainers, we do the best we can, but there’s no way we can capture the reality of every possible situation our officers will face.

That said, some drills are better than others for preparing officers for a gunfight. The drill described earlier is a perfect example. It may be great for competition, but poor for fight preparation.

I know I’ll get called on the carpet, so before I go any further, let me say that I like the classic El Presidente drill in which a shooter faces (or must pivot to face) three targets, draws from the holster and fires two shots on each of the three, reloads and either shoots two more or a single head shot on each. The drill has varied over the years, but follows the same basic format. I like the El Presidente not because it’s a multiple-target drill, but because it requires the shooter to perform a variety of skills all in one drill. For this purpose, it’s brilliant, but do not mistake what it really is.

Statistical studies of police gunfights, such as the FBI’s Officers Killed report or the NYPD’s SOP-9 survey, have made it quite clear officers will face multiple adversaries somewhere from 40–50 percent of the time. While I don’t place a great deal of faith in many statistical studies, it’s hard to ignore the large body of information telling us trainers that the likelihood of our officers facing more than one bad guy is quite high. Think about your own youth. Weren’t you more likely to get in trouble or do something dumb when you were with someone than when you were alone? It’s no different for criminals. They’re more emboldened when they’re in a wolf pack. When creating your agency’s lesson plan, give training for multiple adversaries a sizable chunk of the allotted training time. If you’re practicing on your own, include multiple-target engagement in your training regimen.

Dos & Don’ts

As with any defensive situation, awareness remains the key to dealing with multiple opponents. Avoid or evade any potential confrontation when possible, but like so many law enforcement functions, confrontation may be likely. After all, it’s our job as police officers to seek out and confront lawbreakers, but do so with all possible advantages. However, if you find yourself facing multiple bad guys alone, counter the attack with great speed and totally committed violence. First of all, move! Try to create as much distance between yourself and your attackers as possible. A moving target is harder to hit than a stationary one, so don’t just stand there and take incoming rounds. For every step (about three feet) you take, your ability to prevail multiplies because the farther away you can get from your opponent, the more your training is magnified while their ability to deliver a lucky hit decreases. Do not underestimate the lag time and confusion you can create for your opponents by moving in such a way that you get them in each other’s line of fire. Hell, use one of them for cover if it’s possible.

Don’t try to figure out which of them has the most deadly weapon. This is a game played by range officers who don’t understand the true dynamics of a gunfight. We’ve all played the “this guy has a shotgun and this one has a knife — whom do you shoot first” game. The fact is, all weapons are deadly. While you’re shooting the distant guy with the shotgun, the close guy might be cutting your throat with his knife. Deal with the close threat first. Better yet, shoot the close threat while you move to put him between you and the shotgun-wielding opponent. Yes, this may be wishful thinking, but it has worked in real confrontations. This is why those who understand human conflict will tell you gunfighting is a mental skill, not a physical one

When training for multiple opponent situations, you can use an El Presidente-like drill quite effectively. You can execute this drill against a single backstop, but if you can find a training location that has live-fire capability in multiple directions, all the better. Set up three targets 5–10 yards from where the shooter will start the drill. If possible, vary the elevation of each target so the shooter must look for them and adjust accordingly. Try to keep the shooter from just becoming a “tank turret” as they move from target to target. Set the targets at different distances with varied spacing so no pattern is obvious. To enhance realism, start the drill by uncovering the shooter’s face or having the shooter step out from behind something so they must respond instantly with no prior knowledge of the targets’ locations. Incorporate movement into the drill by directing the shooter to move laterally while they draw to engage the first target. If you can get stationary swinger/wobbler targets, tie them together with a rope or cord and pull on them so they also move during the drill. Such drills will get the shooter plenty pumped up.

When I conduct my training courses, I like to incorporate a drill that uses either Airsoft or SIMUNITION guns. I take two or three students and spread them out in front of the shooter with a variety of these guns, other weapons or empty hands. I give the shooter an Airsoft or SIMUNITION pistol in a holster. I cover the shooter’s face with a pillowcase and tell them to get ready. When the pillow case is pulled off, the shooter must instantly decide what’s going on, who is a threat, who needs to be shot and where to move to keep from getting shot. This drill incorporates both multiple targets and decision-making into the same drill. Needless to say, this drill has caused more than one person to melt down, but better in training than on the street.

Stay alert and check 360 often.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Student brings plastic airsoft pellet gun to school

fake gun became a real problem Thursday in the Apple Valley school district.

On the same day new security cameras went up at Apple Valley's Environmental Studies School, a 14-year-old student brought a plastic gun to school, that shoots plastic pellets.

Police say the boy was on his way to class at the Alternative Learning Center. He took several school buses to get there and ended up shooting several rounds in several different places. Police say he fired in the high school cafeteria, outside the environmental school and on the bus itself.

No one was hurt, but buildings were locked down. The gun was found behind a cabinet in a classroom at the Alternative Learning Center.

"We're concerned about school safety all the time," says school district superintendent John Currie.

It's not the first time something like this has happened. Two other Apple Valley students were disciplined this year for bringing pellet guns to school. They were replicas that looked like the real thing.

Guns that shoot plastic pellets are known as airsoft guns. They can certainly seem very realistic. The orange tip at the end is the only thing that shows the gun isn't real.

"We're finding some of these as officers are stopping vehicles at night lying on seats of cars. That's not a good situation," says Apple Valley Police Chief Scott Johnson.

The guns are sold at toy stores and places like CC Military Surplus in Maplewood, where they check ID and have customers sign a waiver before selling airsoft guns.

"Used in the right place and time, airsoft is a sport that just like paintball, is safe as long as it's in an organized setting and in a place where you can go and do these things with appropriate safety gear," says Rick Michel with CC Military Surplus.

But police and school officials worry too many replica guns are getting in the hands of kids not trained to use them safely.

"I think students are viewing these things as toys and they're not, depending on how they're being used. They're quite serious," says superintendent Currie.

According to the Minnesota Department of Education, there were 204 incidents in Minnesota schools last year involving BB or toy guns.

As for the teenager who fired the plastic pellet gun Thursday in Apple Valley, authorities don't think he was targeting anyone specific.

But he will likely be expelled and could face criminal charges.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Airsoft Adventure Weekend Sweepstakes with flight, lodging, and equipment, Courtesy of AirSplat and Maxim

Located in southern California, Airsplat ( is the largest airsoft retailer in the nation. With a 20,000 square foot warehouse, AirSplat stocks all makes and models of airsoft guns and accessories by all of the major manufacturers. Full line of spring, gas, and airsoft guns. Accessories and apparel also available.

AirSplat and Maxim have teamed up to offer you a chance at an all expense paid trip to the ultimate airsoft adventure. If you are the lucky winner, you and a friend will be flow out for 3 days and 2 nights in Los Angeles where you can fulfill your dreams of becoming weekend warriors. You will receive round trip coach airfare from any major U.S. airport, 2 nights paid accommodations, transportation to and from the airport, entry to the most exclusive club in LA, and full airsoft gun setup for the both of you.

You will also be fully equipped with all of the Airsoft gear you’ll need to test your skills on the field of battle, including; full airsoft gear setup for two (2 MP5 AEG Airsoft Guns, 2 Full Face Masks, 2 Gas Airsoft Pistols, 10,000 Airsoft BB’s, 2 Tactical Vests, 2 Thigh Holsters, 2 AEG Batteries, 2 Chargers, Green Gas, etc) as well as free entry into Airsoft Playground ( for Airsoft CQB Battling.

Total value of package $2,700.

Airsoft as a sport, is when players use non-lethal, replica firearms in the simulation of military style combat (MilSim) or in force on force game play. These toy guns both feel, look, and act like the real thing. They are both the same weight and size as the real things, yet completely safe.

If you are lucky enough to be selected, you and a friend will be able to spend the entire weekend in CQB Battle at the Airsoft Playground. The Airsoft Playground, located in Los Angeles County in the city of El Monte, is composed of 2 separate indoor airsoft fields covering nearly 15,000 square feet! The first field has an outdoor feel and is made up of hay bales, drums, pallets, and other outdoor obstacles. The second field is designed with CQB in mind; featuring walls, hallways, doors, small rooms, windows, and much more. Both of these are perfect arenas to bring out the airsoft soldier in you.

Enter online at for your chance to win!

No purchase required.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Airsoft Gun Injury Cases Rise In Local Hospitals

SAN DIEGO -- The popularity of airsoft guns has triggered an epidemic for doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital, 10News reported.

More than 20 children have been treated there for eye injuries caused by the guns so far this year.

Hank Houtman has been told he is one of the lucky ones.

“(After being hit in the eye), it automatically went black and the pain was instantly unreal. I dropped the gun, ran to the mirror and saw a puddle of blood in the pupil. My eye was completely black. Where it hit was red and bloodshot,” said Houtman.

The guns do come with warning labels and goggles are also usually part of a package deal.

However, doctors have said far too many people have not been wearing the goggles.

“The bullet hits the eye and the force tears blood vessels and causes severe hemorrhaging. It can be blinding, either immediately or long-term,” said pediatric ophthalmologist Dr. Colin Scher.

Scher said Houtman should get his full sight back, but he'll require yearly check-ups for the rest of his life. Scher also added that long-term damage might not reveal itself for many years.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Jacquielynn Floyd: Real guns should be the real concern (opposing view of ban on Airsoft Guns in Texas)

Once the City Council enacts its strict new fake-firearm ban, I confidently predict we can expect the number of Dallas children accidentally shot by police in tragic toy gun misunderstandings to drop to zero. The number currently stands at ... well, zero.

As long as we're going after faux weaponry, we might as well broaden the measure to include plastic swords, phony hand grenades and big fake rocks, because just one replica-weapon tragedy is one too many.

The City Council's public-safety committee eagerly embraced this idea on Tuesday, directing the city attorney to draft an ordinance that would ban most toy guns, except those made of transparent plastic or painted in vivid, iridescent colors.

This is a decent, popular and well-intended measure modeled on similar bans in Plano, Carrollton and a dozen other cities across the country.

Typically, residents and city officials are stunned speechless when they see how alarmingly close "toy" firearms have gotten to the bona fide article.

The fear is fueled by breathless, golly-gee news accounts that show photos of, say, a fake but extremely realistic M-16 assault rifle alongside the real McCoy. In the dark, how could a policeman tell the difference?

Look, I know this is scary. I know it's easy to imagine a tragic misunderstanding in which a police officer sees somebody brandishing what gives every appearance of being a real gun – and does what he or she is trained to do.

There was a frightening incident in Coppell a couple of years ago when a policeman saw a 12-year-old boy running down a residential street with what looked like a 9mm handgun.

The cop pulled his service revolver and ordered the boy to "drop it." The terrified kid did so, then burst into tears. He was carrying an "airsoft" gun, a replica that shoots soft Nerf-like nuggets.

Scary? You bet. There has been a smattering of similar cases, some of which ended tragically. In 2001, Las Vegas police shot a 16-year-old who pointed a fake handgun at an officer after being stopped in a stolen car. In another case, a Florida teenager was killed when he pointed a realistic looking replica rifle at a deputy.

The number of such cases, however, is statistically invisible when compared with the appalling numbers of children who kill themselves or somebody else with a real, live gun that shoots real bullets.

That happens with numbing, depressing frequency. It happens here in Dallas and in neighboring cities. In many years of beat reporting, I was at the scene of at least a half-dozen incidents in which a child died as a result of playing with a gun.

A little boy in East Dallas killed his 2-year-old sister with a handgun he found in Mama's purse. A grade-schooler in Arlington shot himself in the face with a revolver he discovered under the seat of Dad's SUV.

Those are just a couple I recall offhand. I could pull you a dozen others from the files, but do you really have to hear all these sad stories?

Our City Council said the same thing many other councils said in banning realistic toy guns: "These are a tragedy waiting to happen!"

I guess, although a 2003 report delivered by the General Accounting Office to Congress outlining hazards associated with toy guns identified choking on small parts as the chief threat. Accidental police shootings weren't even mentioned.

There's nothing wrong with the council's proposed ban. On the plus side, it'll make a lot of people worried about this issue happy; on the minus side, it'll probably be a pretty big headache to enforce.

It certainly seems like an irrelevant diversion, however, when considered alongside the lethal combination of children and real guns.

I understand there are tougher and far more politically sensitive issues at play when you start talking about the real article. It's a fairly absurd irony that it's so easy to curtail access to toy guns, but we're afraid to even talk about guns that can actually kill people.

Maybe kids and toy guns really are "a tragedy waiting to happen."

Kids and real guns are a tragedy that happens all the time.
(Click on link for full article)

Friday, July 14, 2006

2 Years of Airsoft News and Counting

Well, it's been 2 years since I started with this blog about airsoft in local news across the nation. Airsoft has changed so much in the last 2 years. Rifles have gotten more powerful and reliable. There are even more airsoft rifles and pistols to choose from. Everywhere you look, there is a store or somewhere selling these airsoft guns. And one thing I noticed is the prices have really come down across the board for all models of airsoft guns: gas, electric, and spring. But the introduction of Chinese airsoft guns has made a huge difference. It looks like the LPEG (Low Powered Electric Gun) has now inserted a new stepping stone for enthusiasts before moving to the full sized AEG (Automatic or Airsoft Electric Gun) rifles. Well, I can't say it's a bad thing, the more players and enthusiasts the more popular this sport becomes.

Well, to another 2 years of airsoft and we'll see where we'll be. Maybe we'll be shooting guns that that are even more realistic. And maybe there will be many more manufacturers than the current ones. Now there are only a handful of AEG manufacturers: ICS, CA, Tokyo Marui, G&G, etc. Gas airsoft guns, only have a few as well: HFC, UHC, KJW, Tokyo Marui, KSC, KWA, etc. I think the most increase has been in the LPEG section with Both Elephant, CYMA, Well, Lorcin, and a number of others all appearing this year.

Let's reshift this from I wonder what will happen in 2 years, to I hope this is what it's going to be like in 2 years. I hope in 2 years, there will be a number of LPEG manufacturers. I hope that their quality improves to become a good lower budget alternative to AEG's. Or a better stepping stone. I hope gas guns become more dependable and many more models are released. I hope AEG's become even more dependable and reliable even when upgraded. I hope the overal quality improves. I hope with all of these airsoft guns, regardless of LPEG, AEG, or gas, electric become cheaper and more realistic.

And most importantly, I hope everyone handles these guns with responsibility. If you read through my blog you will see the negative press. I hope that everyone will continue to play airsoft and I hope that they will not abuse or misuse these sporting goods. I hope kids realize they are not supposed to bring these to school. And one thing I really hope, I hope the press would stop spinning these occurrences in a negative manner. Airsoft guns are not the first replicas on the market. BB guns have been around forever and they're at every sporting good store with NO RED TIP.

Well, thank you all for stopping by. Let's continue on and hope that my dreams and hopes come true, for everyone's sake.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Airsofters play a life-size strategy game

KINGS VALLEY — In the forest I stalk my prey. It is cunning, dangerous and nearly invisible to the naked eye. One wrong move, and that’s the end for you.

Unlike most animals, this one is capable of turning the hunter into the hunted. It is not incredibly fast nor does it possess great physical strength or stamina, yet it is still dangerous.

It walks hunched over and moves slowly yet strikes faster than a snake. I see one!

The beast detects my presence, but it doesn’t know where I am. I close in to get a better shot.

For several meters I crawl on my stomach to get to a suitable vantage point. Once there, I prepare for the kill. The iron sights line up on my victim.

Right before I shoot, I hear a sound from behind. I forgot that they often run in packs. Its shriek goes through me.

“Safety kill.”

Mere words took me down in the place of a pellet.

I am an airsofter, and I love this game — except for the long walk back to respawn.

What is airsoft? It is a real-life battle simulation that uses strategy, teamwork and (at times) insanity.

The ammo is actually 6 mm BBs that weigh about .2 grams. These are fired from replicas of real weapons that are battery-powered. The term for one of these BB-shooting machines is Airsoft Electric Gun. There are also gas-powered guns that operate on “red” or “green” gas.

Then people take their nice shiny weapons out into the forest and shoot each other.

Of course, if you are close to a person who hasn’t seen you, the command “Safety kill” works just as well as any BB and destroys a guy’s pride.

Respawn is the place where you walk to when you die. Once there you can play in the game again.

This is a life-size strategy game. There are many variations of it, but the underlying message is to make your friends beg for mercy. It’s a bonding experience — kinda.

What do you need to play? The basic equipment needed to be on the field is goggles and a gun, but a nice pair of boots are handy to have as well. Camouflage clothing is also essential.

Without it, all I can say is I hope you have on some thick padding.

Contrary to popular belief, many people think that it is just for military practice and all the crazy war-types to share stories. Though partially true, there are also many average guys with regular lives who love the smell of dirt and the feel of a fully automatic replica.

It’s nice to live in Kings Valley because men running around in battle dress uniforms aren’t too uncommon. (By the way, event hosts will give the authorities proper notice before playing a game, so the area is secured for airsoft only.) Of course, airsoft isn’t for everyone. You should have steel nerves and must know how to handle stressful situations with clarity, have a basic understanding of strategy, and not worry about getting a little muddy … or a lot muddy.

If you are a clean person who dislikes stressful situations, this probably isn’t your bag, baby. Airsoft is a fast, fun, exciting thrill. On the field, your best friends are your worst enemies, and after the game, the blood-thirsty soldiers become smiling faces telling jokes and showing off their welts.

Should any of this interest you, there are a myriad of Internet sites and army surplus stores that can suit you up for any potential confrontation. If you are up for the challenge, then I will see you in my sights.

Kyle Taylor is a recent Philomath High School graduate and airsofter waiting for the next target in the woods of Kings Valley.

(For full article, please click on above link)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Homeless Man Arrested After Shooting at Officers with Toy Airsoft Gun

June 8 -- A homeless man was arrested in a Downtown parking structure Wednesday night after firing a pellet gun that appeared to be a real at police officers, according to Santa Monica police.

Patrick Lee Karrigan -- who had six previous brushes with the law for loitering in the parking structures -- was booked for probable cause robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and brandishing a replica firearm, police said.

“In the dimly lit environment, the officers said the weapon looked real,” Police Chief James T. Butts, Jr. wrote in an email to the City Council and the city manager. “The weapon was loaded with pellets and was operational.”

Four police officers -- two on foot patrol, the other two in a squad car -- were responding to a report of an armed gunman, when they spotted the suspect “standing in the shadows,” Butts wrote.

The officers recognized him from a description as Kerrigan, a 19-year-old homeless man with a Mohawk hairstyle who likely lives in the Downtown area, although his id card lists a Mar Vista address, Butts said.

“The suspect stepped out (of the shadows), pointed an Airsoft pellet gun at the officers and fired three times before the officers could get out of the car and engage” him, Butts said.

Once the suspect realized the intended targets were police officers, he threw the toy gun down and said, “It’s a toy gun, it’s a toy gun!” Butts said.

Butts said the officers, who thought the gun was real, showed restraint and arrested the suspect without incident.

“When the officers illuminated the weapon, they discovered it was clear plastic with a red tip,” Butts said.

Council member Richard Bloom, who has been a key player in addressing the City’s homeless problem, said Kerrigan is a “good example” of a suspect who should face a “community court” that can refer him to services, rather than simply putting him back on the streets.

An alternative to sending homeless offenders to County jail, where they will likely get an early release, “community courts” are being successfully used in other cities, including New York, Bloom said.

Bloom and other City officials have been exploring the possibility of using the system locally.

“This seems to be the kind of case where you would have the opportunity to try someone in a community court,” said Bloom, a member of Bring LA Home, a panel of countywide leaders that hammered out a plan to end homelessness in the next ten years.

“We’re just really cycling people through and not really using the resources of the courts to get them into services,” Bloom said.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Airsoft gun at school causes lockdown

A 14-year-old student at Bellevue's Highland Middle School was released to his father and is expected to be expelled from classes after a replica of a gun was found in his backpack Wednesday.

Police were called to the school at 15027 N.E. Bellevue-Redmond Road just after 10 a.m. after a student told a teacher about another student who was believed to have a pistol in a backpack.

The school went into lockdown.

The principal contacted the student, secured a backpack and detained the student.

A silver Airsoft pistol, found in the backpack, was turned over to police. The required orange markings on the barrel, intended to quickly identify it as not being a real gun, had been removed, police said.

The student is not believed to have made threats, and because the device was not an actual firearm and no assault occurred, no charges are anticipated, although the student is expected to be expelled for violating school-weapons regulations, police said.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Gun report turns out to be airsoft pistol

A report of a man with a gun led six police officers to two men who were playing with airsoft pistols in the 900 block of North Main Street on Monday afternoon, Ann Arbor police said.

A caller told police that a man was holding a handgun at 4:15 p.m. and described the man and another man who was with him, reports said. Officers saw the man holding a gun at his side, and officers drew their weapons and ordered the men to drop the gun and lie down, reports said.

The men complied and said the weapons were airsoft pistols, which shoot plastic pellets and look like real firearms, reports said. The men, a 39-year-old Inkster resident and 26-year-old Ann Arbor resident, were identified and released.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Danville Student Faces Felony Charges for Airsoft Pellet Gun

MOUNT VERNON — A Danville student accused of shooting classmates with a pellet gun will face felony charges for inducing panic.

Assistant Knox County Prosecutor Rob Broeren said the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office has charged Thomas J. Wine, 18, with inducing panic, a fourth-degree felony. Wine also faces two misdemeanor assault charges, which will now be bound over from Mount Vernon Municipal Court.

“After reviewing the actions of Mr. Wine, the office of the Knox County Prosecutor believes that the recklessness of his actions led to the lockdown at the Danville High School and elementary school and caused significant panic,” said Broeren, “thus justifying the filing of a felony inducing panic charge.”

The lockdown occurred Friday, when students riding the bus back to Danville from the Knox County Career Center exited the vehicle to find Wine waiting.

Wine, a senior at the career center who was not in school on Friday, allegedly pulled out an airsoft gun and began shooting a male juvenile with the 6 mm plastic pellets.

Danville Police Chief Monte Vance said the two students had been involved in an altercation earlier that week. Vance added that other students were allegedly hit with pellets and that the sight of Wine with the pellet gun caused panic among the students.

Vance apprehended Wine shortly after Wine fled the scene, and had him incarcerated at the Knox County Jail on a $5,000 bond.

According to the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office, case law did not support felony charges based on the pellet gun, which is not considered a firearm or a deadly weapon. However, officials later decided to press felony charges based on the panic that Wine’s alleged actions caused among the other students.

Wine remains incarcerated in the Knox County Jail.

(For Full Article Please Use Link)

Thursday, May 11, 2006


BOSTON -- Attorney General Tom Reilly today demanded that six Internet retailers and one Massachusetts store owner stop selling "look-alike" air rifles and BB guns to minors. AG Reilly issued the demand letters, which also inform the companies of his intent to sue, following an undercover investigation where a 16-year-old boy successfully purchased several of these weapons in violation of Massachusetts law.

"These 'look-alike' weapons are dangerous, and should not be in the hands of children," AG Reilly said. "Local police departments use air rifles and BB guns in training exercises because they are so much like the real thing. But now police are finding these guns are used to commit crimes, and kids are bringing them to school. It's not safe. Retailers have got to stop selling these weapons to children."

The guns, commonly referred to as "airsoft" guns, are high powered, often semi- or fully automatic, and fire plastic or metal pellets that can inflict serious injuries. They pose an additional safety risk because they are designed to look and feel exactly like real guns. Many air rifles and BB guns bear brand names, model numbers and logos. Massachusetts law prohibits the sale of an air rifle or BB gun to a minor under 18 years old.

AG Reilly conducted an undercover sting operation over the past year in response to growing concerns about the misuse of air rifles and BB guns. AG Reilly enlisted the help of a 16-year-old boy who was easily able to purchase these guns online from two large national sporting goods retailers -- Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. and The Sports Authority, Inc. -- using gift cards purchased from local stores. Using money orders, the teen also purchased guns from three other out-of-state online retailers: Airsoft Atlanta, Inc., of Norcross, Georgia, Jungle Toy, LLC of Chino, California, and Tactical Innovations, LLC of Milford, Ohio. The boy also purchased a gun in person at the Xtreme Action Paintball store in Norwood.

AG Reilly has also notified GSI Commerce, Inc., of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, which operates the website for Dick's and Sports Authority, that they are in violation of Massachusetts Law for selling air rifles and stun guns to minors.

AG Reilly has informed the retailers that he intends to sue them to permanently stop the sale of air rifles and BB guns to minors in Massachusetts and to pay penalties.

Incidents involving these "look alike" guns are on the rise both locally and nationally. The Center for Disease Control reports that the guns caused an estimated 20,000 injuries in 2003. Local police are also seeing a serious problem in schools and neighborhoods, where these guns are used to commit crimes and may be confused by law enforcement as a real weapon.

"We have seen a significant rise in crimes committed using air guns during the past six months," Marlborough Police Chief Mark Leonard said. "They are easily accessible to people intent on committing those crimes, and are getting into the hands of minors with increased frequency. 'Replica' air guns bear a very strong resemblance to their 'real' counterparts, and there is no way to distinguish a real firearm from an air gun without close inspection."

Chief Leonard added, "This presents some very real concerns for law enforcement, and is what makes them an attractive criminal tool."

Lowell Police Superintendent Ed Davis estimates that his police officers confiscate two or three BB guns each week. On Monday, a Lowell middle school student used a "look alike" gun to shoot another student in the head. The victim suffered only a minor injury.

"I urge companies that sell these weapons to adhere to strict guidelines on their online sales and in stores," Superintendent Davis said. "Parents also need to pay close attention to the danger posed by these weapons, and ensure that they are not being placed in the hands of their children."

These cases are part of an overall initiative by AG Reilly to target the sale of illegal or age-prohibited products in Massachusetts such as firearms, ammunition, alcohol, cigarettes, and fireworks. AG Reilly's Office has also become a respected resource on the ever-evolving world of the Internet, particularly as it relates to child safety. Since taking office, AG Reilly has devoted unprecedented resources to protecting Internet users and has dedicated staff specifically to education and training efforts.

Anyone with questions about whether certain weapons are restricted by Massachusetts law should check with their local police department.

Assistant Attorneys General David Monahan and Scott Schafer of AG Reilly's Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division are handling this case, with assistance from Investigators Dante Annicelli and Jake Harney of the Investigations Division.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Boy allegedly hit with airsoft pellet gun

Two 11-year-old Pearl City boys were arrested yesterday after another boy said he was shot with a pellet gun.

Police were sent to a Pearl City school about 7:30 a.m. yesterday after an 11-year-old boy said one of his classmates shot him with an airsoft gun.

Police did not name the school or say if the boy was injured.

When officers arrived at the school, the boy said a second boy also fired a shot at him. The two boys were arrested and booked for investigation of third-degree assault and harassment.

Both boys were released to the custody of their parents.

Airsoft guns resemble real weapons, but they fire plastic BBs that sting but do not penetrate the skin.

(For Full Article, Please refer to link)

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Teen gets 60 days for shooting

OLYMPIA — A teenager who accidentally shot a friend in the head was sentenced Tuesday to 60 days in jail.

Danial R. Coots, 19, of Olympia pleaded guilty in March to third-degree assault by negligence, sparing himself a potential 21-month prison term had he been convicted during a trial.

His attorney said he couldn’t understand why prosecutors filed
charges in a case that should have been regarded as a tragic accident.

On Feb. 8, 2005, Coots and a friend, David Nelson, then 19, were drinking alcohol about 1:30 a.m. while hanging out with another friend’s sister, then 16, at her home. They went into the girl’s bedroom so she could get cigarettes, and she showed them a 9 mm handgun that her parents had given her for protection. While handling it, Coots accidentally shot Nelson in the head.

Not a pellet gun

Coots had mistaken the weapon for an Airsoft pellet gun because he and Nelson had seen pellets on the floor just before she pulled out the gun.

The bullet passed through Nelson’s skull but he stayed conscious. He survived but lost hearing in one ear, sight in one eye, and has frequent migraines and mood swings that he can’t control, Nelson said. He also is leaking spinal fluid and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, he said Tuesday by telephone.

“I almost wish I would have died so I wouldn’t have to live in this hell,” Nelson said. “I’m pretty messed up in the head. I don’t think anybody is going to be able to fix me.”

Nelson did not attend the hearing in Thurston County Superior Court because he feared it would be too emotional for him. His mother, Donna Roush, appeared and spoke on his behalf.

Nelson, who once lived on his own, now stays with his father and has to visit doctors about four times a week.

Judge Richard Hicks followed the prosecutor’s recommendation on the two-month jail term, part of which can be completed with community service. Coots also has to undergo a substance-abuse evaluation because the case involved alcohol.

Both Coots and Nelson worked for Olympic Arms in Thurston County.

In his only remarks to the judge, Coots explained that he forges metal parts for guns and doesn’t handle weapons, and that’s why he was able to mistake the weapon for a pellet gun.

Coots’ attorney, Jim Dixon, called the case a “tragedy on top of a tragedy.” Initially, the sheriff’s detective told Dixon that there were no criminal violations, he said. The first few times prosecutors reviewed the case, they did not file charges, he added.

(For Full Article, Please Refer to Link)

Airsoft Toy Gun Dangers

A popular toy gun catches attention from law enforcement agencies. That's because it looks almost identical to a real gun. Here's more. One of these is the toy gun, the other is a real one. Police officers say they cannot tell the difference. A big concern is if a suspect pulls one out and points it at you, you won't know if the gun is real or not. And that's why officers are so worried about the so called Airsoft gun. The toys are popular with teens mainly because they look like the real thing, from revolvers to military assault rifles. To avoid confusion, the guns makers paint the tip orange but many teens paint it black again.

Lt. Paul Shastany of the Framingham police says, "If there is an orange tip, leave it as an orange tip. If they are going to try to modify this to increase its velocity, don't do that. Leave it alone."

The toy guns fire tiny pellets meant to sting but not injure. Still, officers say kids are getting hurt, even blinded because they aren't protecting themselves.

(For Full Article, Please refer to Link)

Monday, May 01, 2006

Boy, 10, booked after spree with air gun at W.V. school

Police in West Valley City took a 10-year-old boy to a juvenile detention facility Friday for allegedly taking an air gun to school and shooting his classmates with it. The shootings allegedly occurred Wednesday and Thursday at Granger Elementary School, 2450 W. 3800 South, in West Valley City. Granite School District police Chief Randy Johnson said the boy was booked into a detention facility on suspicion of aggravated assault. The fourth-grade student brought a plastic-pellet-firing Airsoft pistol to school and shot students on the playground and in the classroom while the teacher was away, the chief said. "We went from a couple of victims to a total of 13 as of yesterday," Johnson said, adding the pellets bruised some children but there were no serious injuries. The boy threatened children so they wouldn't report what happened, but one girl told her parents about the shootings on Thursday night, he said. The parents contacted Granger's principal. Johnson said the boy has been suspended until the school conducts a review.

(For Full Article, Please Refer to Link)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Toy gun causes scare at school

TORRINGTON -- Rumors fueled parents’ fears when school officials confiscated a toy pellet gun from an East School elementary student Thursday morning.

"(The student) did not bring the gun to hurt anyone," said Grace G. Michnevitz, principal of East School on Hogan-Petricone Drive, Thursday night. "He was upset that it was broken."

The male student, who is 9 or 10 years old, was carrying a clear-colored Airsoft gun that fires plastic pellets in his backpack, Michnevitz said.

The gun had a broken piece and the student was planning on going with his babysitter to get it fixed after school, but was upset on the bus ride and threatened to get a gun and kill himself to gain attention, Michnevitz said.

Rumors that the student threatened to kill everyone on the bus circulated throughout the day and eventually led some parents with children on the bus to demand the student be placed on another bus, Michnevitz said.

Concerned parents also called Torrington police, and an officer went to the school to investigate.

Michnevitz assured the officer that the situation was under control and the student did not represent a danger to others.

To quell parents’ fears, Michnevitz moved the student to a smaller bus and sent a letter home to parents to explain the situation.

"I talked to him with a psychiatrist," Michnevitz said. "The boy was fine."

The student served an in-school suspension for the day and was then taken home by Michnevitz.

During her research around East School Thursday, Michnevitz discovered about 20 other students in the school who have a similar type of toy gun that the children use to play a form of tag.

"These are very dangerous items," Michnevitz said. "Apparently these children are not being supervised (when using these guns)."

Airsoft guns have been around for about 30 years and are less powerful than traditional BB guns that fire metal pellets, Airsoft Extreme dealer Andrew Ho said.

Ho manages a store in Torrance, Calif., and sells hundreds of these guns from five retail outlets and a Web site.

"I deal in the higher-end guns that can cost up to $2,000," Ho said. "You must treat them like real guns."

While many of the mass-market guns are colored or clear to differentiate them from real weapons, others look extremely real and could be mistaken for a real gun, Ho said.

That is one reason Ho demands buyers to sign a waiver and be older than 18.

Models sold by BB gun manufacturer Daisy for around $25 are less realistic, but still require supervision, Ho said.

"I understand the concerns about children bringing them to school," Ho said.

Torrington Schools Superintendent Susan O’Brien had not been notified of the incident as of Thursday night, but said the letter to parents was a standard procedure.

"You can’t bring anything like that to school," O’Brien said. "Bringing any kind of weapon is a serious infraction."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Replica gun gets student in trouble

A 15-year-old girl was detained by Simi Valley police for allegedly taking a toy replica gun to Simi Valley High School on April 20.

Simi Valley Police School Resource Officer Arnold Baynard received information from a Ventura County sheriff's deputy that the student was in possession of a firearm on the campus. The deputy had received the information from a student in another city.

The girl was found and detained at school. Baynard took an Airsoft pistol out of the student's pocket.

The toy pistol was a replica of a Glock model 26 9-mm pistol. The toy uses compressed air to shoot small plastic BB-sized pellets. The toy is nearly identical to the real thing and looks and feels like a firearm.

There was no evidence that the student intended to use the pistol to commit a crime or to threaten or hurt anyone. The toy gun was not loaded.

The girl was cited and released. She will be dealt with in the Juvenile Court system on a criminal charge. The Simi Valley School District will address whether the girl can continue to attend school.

(For Full Article, Please Refer to Link)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Tishomingo Student Shot in the Face by Replica Airsoft Gun

A Johnston County boy was shot in the face with an airsoft pistol. After a boy brought a gun replica to Tishmingo Middle School on the anniversary of columbine. his friend took it out of his back pack and fired. KTEN's Sarah Lindenberg reports.

Police say the gun was an exact replica of a colt 1911 government model. A gun originally used by the US military..... And copied as a toy.

In this incident the boy brought the gun to school and was in his last hour at gym class when his friend took it out of his bag.

Principal Larry Davis said the boy should have reported it .....not fired it.

The boy that shot the weapon was suspended for five days.

The boy that brought it.....was suspended for ten days.

The Tishmingo Police Chief met with the Assistant District Attorney today to discuss whether the gun qualifies as a fire arm.

The A.D.A. said it was a toy and the boy will be charged with a simple assault.

Police say the only thing different about this gun and a real gun is the weight and its markings.

"It is pretty realistic looking alot of them have an orange tip what we seee is kids will paint over the tip or the tip will pop off," Shannon Smith Tishmingo Police said.

The 12-year-old boy's case will now move onto the juvenile services unit. The boy that was shot sustained a minor welt on his jaw.

Sarah Lindneberg KTEN News.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Fake gun near Beaverton middle school results in arrest

This is a press release courtesy of the Beaverton Police Department
BEAVERTON, Ore. - On April 24 at about 3:45 p.m., Beaverton Police were summoned to Conestoga Middle School regarding a report of a man with a gun on school property.

Two parents waiting for their child to exit the school were parked at the curb when they noticed the suspect walk by and approach a group of students in the parking lot.

They saw him pull out a black handgun from the back of his pants and show it to the group that surrounded him.

At one point the complainants observed the suspect press the gun into the stomach of one of the students.

Other witnesses said he "worked the slide" back and forth and pointed it at the school pulling the trigger.

The suspect eventually put the gun into the back of his pants and rode off on his skateboard.

The school was put into lockdown while police attempted to locate the suspect.

The suspect was located by responding officers several blocks away and handcuffed until authorities could determine exactly what happened.

The suspect was armed with a sheathed knife and a realistic looking black Glock replica Airsoft handgun which fires small plastic BB-like projectiles.

The suspect said that he was just showing it to some friends and acknowledged that doing it in front of a school was probably a bad idea.

Dusten Jacob Williams, 20, was charged with Disorderly Conduct.

Conestoga students departure from school was delayed for less than ten minutes.

(For full article please refer to link)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Police find sure fire way to fund teams with Airsoft

AS police officers opened fire on each other with machine guns and pistols, a lone voice cried out "I've been hit".
But fortunately, the man had only been struck by a mock bullet as he took part in an exercise aimed at preparing officers for dangerous situations at work.

Two teams of Peterborough police officers took part in the unusual team building session at the airsoft base at former RAF Upwood, near Ramsey.

Clambering over rubble, stalking through glass strewn corridors and seeking shelter behind make-shift barricades, the 30 officers did their best to out-wit each other to win the game.

Dressed in combat gear, they fired small plastic "bullets" at each other from a range of weapons.

The outing was designed to encourage officers to work better together in potentially life-threatening situations.

Pc Lloyd Groves, who organised the event, said: "We wanted to do a team-building exercise and this was a chance to do something a bit different.

"You have to work with each other. A lot of the skills you learn here can be translated into working practices for when we are on the streets and up against difficult situations.

"It makes you really aware of each other. You're constantly aware of who's near you and exactly where they are. That is a massively helpful thing to be able to take back into jobs.

"And it's a lot of fun and a good way of getting rid of tension and stress."

Pc Lee Crane, who was taking part in Airsoft for the first time, said: "If you get into difficult or dangerous situations at work you need to be able to trust your colleagues completely.

"This kind of exercise gives us the chance to get to know each other and trust each other, and that will transfer to our work so that we're all better prepared for any situation."

Pc Rachel Schwinger added: "It's been really good and has been great for team building. We'll all trust each other much more after this."

ET reporter Sally Lowe has a go

Arriving at RAF Upwood, I was greeted by an eerie silence. The abandoned buildings at the former airforce site near Ramsey looked deserted, doors hanging off hinges and smashed panes of glass in windows.

Then the silence was broken by the sound of gun fire and the anguished cry of "I'm hit."

Team leader John Dean was soon on hand to kit me out. After making me pull on a gas-mask style face guard, he then handed over the gun, an alarmingly powerful-feeling rifle –

with the power to fire plastic bullets a distance of more than 20 feet.

I was drafted in to the red team – our aim to attack a blue-team bolt hole, "kill" the occupants and seize control of the building.

Fearing a little for my safety, I decided to stick close to John, tailing him along the side of a building before ducking in through a door, gun raised.

Scrambling down a corridor, John warned me to keep pressed up against the wall as we darted into a room.

Heart pounding, I crept over to the window and crouched beneath the sill just as a hail of bullets came streaming through the window above me. Luckily none of them hit.

Peering out through the window, I could see a red team member lurking behind a window in the opposite building. Shaking with nerves, I raised my gun above the ledge and fired, hoping for the best. I failed to hit my target, instead shattering several panels of glass, and I was greeted with a further shower of bullets for my troubles.

Scrabbling across to the next window, I could get a clearer view of my target. Took aim, and hit! Fantastic!

I only experienced a sample of what Airsoft has to offer, but it certainly got my blood pumping and gave me a taste of how it feels to be in a life-threatening situation.

(For Full Article, Please refer to link)

Military-style game gaining popularity in the Upstate

Crawling on his

stomach through the

South Carolina woods with

a gun aimed at his enemy on a recent Sunday, James Goey was living his idea of the ultimate hobby.

Goey is just one of many people in the Upstate -- and across the country -- who are catching on to a game called airsoft, a game in which players participate in the simulation of military or law-enforcement combat with replica military firearms and military-style tactics. The firearms used can be made of metal or plastic and usually fire 6 mm or 8 mm spherical projectiles -- known as BBs -- that weigh 110 to 600 milligrams.

Most airsoft BBs are standard plastic pellets; others can be starch-based biodegradable, metal-coated, graphite-coated (often used by snipers) or steel.

The game is popular in Asia where it got its start because firearms are difficult or impossible to obtain because of local laws. Because of this, most airsoft guns, accessories and aftermarket upgrade parts are made in these countries. The hobby has a huge online presence that fuels its growth.

It was that online community, as well as the weapons, that drew in Goey.

When a friend showed him a gun and explained the game, Goey decided to give airsoft a try. But at the time, very few people were playing the game in the Upstate, so he started playing with a few friends in the woods behind his house. It was ultimately a trip to Dalton, Ga., where he played with more than 120 people that got him really excited about the game. He now has his own team -- Wolf Pak.

"We were hooked after that," he said, while his fellow Airsoft players nodded in agreement.

Mark Schreiber, 32, organizer of the S.C. Airsoft Association from Simpsonville, said only a year ago there were just a handful of players in the area, but now there are more than 100 in the Upstate and double that in the state.

"It's still kind of new," Schreiber said, "especially in the South. But I can guarantee you that in a year we will double or triple the number of players that we have now. It's growing week by week and day by day."

Scott Mills, 42, and his son Richard Mills, 26, enjoy the hobby together, and travel from their home in Newberry to various Airsoft events. Mills realizes that people might think his hobby is silly, but Airsoft players are the first to mock themselves.

"It's playing army men," Scott Mills whispered with a smile.

While Airsoft is just now entering the radar of Southern sports and hobby enthusiasts, the average person on the street has probably never heard of Airsoft.

Various aspects of the game draw in Airsoft players.

Larry Davis, a high-school student from Greenville, got involved three months ago when he realized the short-term cost of playing Airsoft was cheaper than paintball, a gateway sport that draws in many Airsoft players.

"I can buy 5,000 rounds for $5 dollars at Wal-Mart but only 2,000 cost $75 in paintball," Davis said, while he showed off his gun from Japan.

If you ran into any of the Airsoft players on the street you might be fooled into thinking they are military. Davis was outfitted right down to his snakebite kit and boots, not to mention the Kevlar hat and bulletproof vest.

Mark Waggoner, 37, from Easley is also a newcomer to the hobby. Waggoner served active duty in the army for 10 years, so you might think he'd be tired of all of the guns, but his love of the game was evident during a recent game. He acknowledged that he is one of the "older players" in the group, but praised the younger players' discipline and knowledge. He dispelled what might be some people's first impression of Airsoft -- a bunch of guys running around shooting off fake ammunition carelessly.

"You would be surprised at how mature the players act out here and how responsible most of them are," he said.

Responsibility is a key issue, since many players have to be careful where they have their guns, even just taking them to a game in their cars on the weekend. There have been cases of Airsoft weapons being mistaken for their real counterparts.

Airsoft does have a few drawbacks, most notably that players get so immersed in the game they might not realize the financial burden. Waggoner pointed out that Airsoft is "just like any other hobby" where people don't realize the long-term accumulated costs.

There is also a fee that players must pay the owner of the facility where a game is played. At big events that draw teams from all over a region, that fee can reach up to $150, such as events held at actual military training facilities. Typical local fees are much lower.

But the fees don't stop more and more people from jumping into the Airsoft scene.

Valerie Adcock, one of two female Airsoft players at a recent game, said there are usually only a couple of women at the events. She and her boyfriend, Kyle Chanko, play together -- what some might consider an unusual date.

"I know I'm good at it, and I like the whole hide and seek thing," Adcock said.

Her boyfriend agreed.

"I just like to play games with other people," Chanko said. "It's a good community."

And the exercise and fresh air are a bonus, even if the price is ammunition whizzing by your head.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Friday, April 21, 2006

High school student cited over replica airsoft gun


High school student cited over replica gun
April 21, 2006

A Simi Valley High School student suspected of bringing a replica gun to campus has been cited, officials said Thursday.

The 15-year-old female was arrested, then released to her parent or guardian, the Simi Valley Police Department said. She is expected to appear in Juvenile Court on an undetermined date. Police are not disclosing her name because she is younger than 18.

The school district office was closed when police released information about the incident. It is unknown if the district took separate disciplinary action.

A Ventura County Sheriff's deputy was told that the teen had a firearm. The deputy called Simi Police Officer Arnold Baynard, who notified school officials and arrived just before 1 p.m. to detain the student. Baynard allegedly found an airsoft pistol that looked like a 9 mm Glock handgun in her pants pocket. It uses compressed air to shoot small plastic pellets, police said. It was not loaded. Police Lt. Paul Fitzpatrick held the toy gun and said it looked and felt like a real firearm.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Monday, April 17, 2006

Teens charged in pellet gun shooting

LONG HILL -- Two teenagers are charged with firing a pellet gun at another group of juveniles, police said.

Daniel Silvershein, 18, of Warren Township and a 17-year-old Stirling boy, whose identity is being withheld because of his age, were charged with possessing a firearm for unlawful purposes and disorderly conduct following a short investigation, police Capt. Dan Hedden said.

Police were called to Somerset Street 9:50 p.m. Thursday after getting a report that two juveniles had been struck by pellets fired from a passing motor vehicle, Hedden said.

At the scene, police were told that someone discharged a pellet gun at the group of youths who were gathered on the lawn of the Stirling Manor Apartment Complex. One juvenile was hit in the thigh and another in the area of her collarbone although neither suffered any injuries, Hedden said.

Police were able to locate Daniel Silvershein hours later at his Warren home, where two Airsoft pellet hand guns and a bag containing 10,000 pellets were recovered in the family's garbage can. Silvershein had turned himself into the Long Hill Township Police at 9:30 a.m. on Friday.

Township Municipal Court Judge James Bride issued a complaint warrant for Silvershein charging him with possessing a firearm for unlawful purposes, a crime of the second degree. He was also charged on a separate complaint for disorderly conduct before being released from police custody on his own recognizance with a pending court date.

The 17-year-old boy turned himself into police at 1:30 p.m. and he was charged with possessing a firearm for unlawful purposes, a crime of the second degree and disorderly conduct The youth was turned over to the custody of a parent with a pending court date in Morris County Juvenile Court.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Toy guns lead to A very close Cal

Toy guns that resemble the real thing were at the heart of a tense encounter April 1.

By Sheila Hagar of the Union-Bulletin

``My main concern is, it's an accident waiting to happen.''

Linda Coronado

her son Tony was among three people detained by police while playing with toy guns.

It could have been taken from a cop reality show. Three males were on their knees with wavering hands held high in the air. A young man gave a frightened sob as flashlight beams sliced through the dark.

Behind the kneeling figures, a neatly manicured lawn in front of a family-sized porch added a touch of the surreal.

In fact, nothing was quite what it seemed at first glance.

On April 1, Walla Walla police officers responded to what a caller told them looked like an armed robbery of a neighborhood convenience store. When they arrived at about 10 p.m., it looked like the caller suspected - three figures were in the street, running, ducking behind trees, darting into car ports. All had hoods tied close around their faces and wore glasses or goggles.

All were carrying pistols in their hands.

At least, that's what officers assumed from what they saw.

It turned out the only lethal weapons that night were in the hands of law enforcement. The three men became one adult and two youths, ages 12 and 14.

And the armed robbery was actually a form of tag one night during Walla Walla's recent spring break.

The game was meant to chase away cabin fever, said Nathaniel Vickers, a Union-Bulletin employee.

Vickers, 43, was spending time with the two neighbor boys while his daughters were at a church youth dance, he said. Boredom had set in until he suggested going outside with the ``soft air'' guns belonging to one of the boys.

These air guns are increasingly popular for target practice and recreation, police say. The toy weapons shoot brightly colored and almost weightless plastic BBs, and are lumped in the same category as paint ball and pellet-style guns. By law, soft air guns must have red or orange tips.

``I made sure everyone had goggles or glasses on, because you don't want to get one of those plastic pellets in your eyes,'' Vickers said. He also advised the boys to snug their sweatshirt hoods down tight, to keep the eyewear in place and to protect their ears and skin.

He was under the impression toy gun play is legal, he said. ``I've seen so many kids under the age of 18 with them.''

It was when he laughingly shouted for the boys to stop - he'd dropped his ammunition - that Vickers slowed down long enough to notice the trio was no longer alone on Park Street. ``The next thing I knew, we were surrounded by the police and they told us to drop our weapons.''

It seemed to Vickers at the time as if he and the boys had assault weapons pointed at their heads, he recalled.

All three responded promptly, eager to demonstrate the guns were fake. ``I held it out like this,'' Vickers said, extending clasped fingers far from his body. ``I said, `Sir, it's a toy weapon.'''

Nonetheless, all were kept on their knees and searched while police kept their guns at ``low ready.''

``They were detained with weapons drawn,'' agreed Sgt. Michael Ralston of the Walla Walla Police Department. He noted it was two officers on the scene, while two others stayed in the distance. The weapons were the .40-caliber Glock handguns Walla Walla officers routinely carry.

The officers responded completely appropriately given the information they received of a potentially dangerous situation, Ralston said. The air guns were on the street in plain view at 10 p.m. next to the Alder Street Apex Food and Deli convenience store.

The tag players got the message, Vickers said. ``The police were determined to explain it was a serious situation.''

He added he didn't like the way the officers spoke to them. Nonetheless, his embarrassment at being on his knees in his neighborhood as a result of playing with a toy gun equaled his momentary anger, Vickers remembered.

The mother of one of the boys liked her son's involvement even less. Linda Coronado was asleep on her couch 20 feet from where her 12-year-old son, Tony Manns, was being searched. ``When they came in and told me, I thought it was an April Fools,'' she said.

It was Tony's 14-year-old friend Michael who brought the guns over, she said. Coronado is opposed to toy guns, and even keeps her son's cap pistol out of sight. ``My main concern is, it's an accident waiting to happen.''

Although no one was cited by police over the incident, her family is still affected by it. Tony, a sixth-grader at Pioneer Middle School, barely left the house for days following the scare and is undergoing counseling, his mom said. In the meantime, Coronado hopes to get the story out to other parents.

Tony, at 5-foot-9, and 179 pounds, was initially mistaken for an adult. ``If he had panicked and made a false move, he could be dead,'' Coronado believes. ``A child being exposed to that kind of violence could freak out.''

Airsoft brand and other toy guns are manufactured to look ``more and more like real guns. This is teaching kids how to load guns,'' she said, referring to the slip-in magazines. ``All it takes is a phone call to summon the police when a toy gun is being used.''

She concedes she is unhappy the guns are sold just across the street at Apex, although Michael's guns did not come from that business.

Apex owner Young Cho carries the Double Eagle M47B soft air shotgun, keeping it on a high shelf behind the register. While it weighs a mere three pounds, it sports a scope and a sleek, black body; the mandatory red tip is but a fraction of the body of the toy.

Cho, who has owned the store about 18 months, said he will not allow his children to play with soft air guns. But his business, which caters to neighborhood children and those at the nearby YMCA, has sold several. Buyers are asked for identification to ensure the 18-or-older requirement is upheld, he said.

Coronado said she has seen Apex employees demonstrating the gun to kids in the parking lot. As a mother and a nearby resident, she finds it disturbing. ``It's not a crime for an employee to take the guns out to the parking lot, but the franchise should know what the employee is doing.''

Written into Title 9 of the City of Walla Walla municipal code are several subsections regarding ``public peace, morals and welfare.'' Within those, clause 9.15 discusses firearms, missiles and air guns: discharging any type of air gun is prohibited anywhere at any time in Walla Walla, it states.

Which is fine with Coronado. Tony, who makes good grades and plays AAU basketball, has pestered his mother to buy a toy gun for him, he said.

She was reluctant prior to the April 1 incident, and she is more vehement now. ``I don't want Tony even playing with a gun...any kind of gun,'' Coronado responded.

She had already warned her son about potential dangers, telling him something could happen at any time with kids playing with the look-alike pistols.

``I knew her words would come true,'' Tony chimed in. ``They always do.''

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Friday, April 14, 2006

Teen charged for airsoft gun at school

Prosecutors filed criminal charges Tuesday against a 14-year-old boy who brought a handgun to Chinook Middle School.

The student was charged in Thurston County Juvenile Court with unlawful possession of a firearm and possession of a weapon on school grounds. The student, who has been in custody since his arrest Friday, is scheduled for a court hearing today on terms of his release.

He faces 60 days in juvenile detention if convicted of both charges. He is not being named because of his age and because he didn’t threaten anyone with the gun.

“We’re taking it very seriously,” Deputy Prosecutor Laura Murphy said. “We recognize that although he didn’t threaten anybody, he still had a gun with ammunition at school. We’re really concerned about that.”

School officials discovered the 9 mm gun last Friday after bringing the boy to an administrator’s office because he had singed another student’s neck hair with a cigarette lighter. Officials searched the boy’s school bag and found the gun, along with a clip with two rounds.

The boy then gave officials the names of two boys to whom he’d shown the gun. Officials searched their backpacks and found an Airsoft pellet gun, makeshift brass knuckles and knives. None of them threatened anyone or were planning to use the weapons on other students, officials said.

The other two students do not face criminal charges. The Airsoft gun, which fires rubber pellets, is spring-loaded and does not fall under the dangerous weapons statute, Murphy said.

The state law prohibiting firearms on school campuses also requires a mandatory mental health evaluation for any students arrested on suspicion of taking a gun to school. A judge will hear the report on the Lacey student during today’s hearing.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Gun battle's a victory for the peacekeepers

THE first attempt was such a huge success that the teenagers were keen to return to the use of guns to settle their differences – soft pellet BB guns, that is.

But this was no warfare, It was a team-building exercise involving opposing groups of "goths" and "chavs".

Earlier this week, they swapped their distinctive clothes for combats to take part in a friendship-fostering day of army warfare.

The youngsters were put into mixed teams and battled it out in an army-style event where they use plastic "Airsoft" pellets in organised wargames.

The event follows two similar days last year, when city centre street wardens thought up the scheme after a series of violent clashes in Cathedral Square.

Complaints were pouring in about youngsters drinking alcohol, violence, vandalism and litter, and when the youths began firing ball bearing guns at each other it was the final straw.

In October, street wardens took a group of 20 youngsters to tear around a secret location in Cambridgeshire, firing pot-shots at each other in a bid to build bridges between the groups.

The day was hailed a huge success, and reports of trouble have been on the decline since – leading to the latest event being arranged.

Phillip Makepeace, city centre manager for the city council, added: "This scheme was the brainchild of the city's street wardens and its success is down to their hard work and initiative.

"By interacting with groups of young people we can make the city centre a safer and more attractive place for everybody."

The unique scheme has attracted national and international interest as it encourages a sense of respect among young people, as well as drawing out leadership qualities and teaching a sense of responsibility.

Steve Mayes, street warden supervisor for the city council, said: "One added value for the street wardens is they get to know many of the youngsters' first names and vice versa, which is of great help when the city wardens have to challenge bad behaviour in the city centre.

"Many of the youngsters can then help the wardens to resolve issues by applying peer pressure."

The sessions will be paid for by the youngsters themselves, but will be subsidised by airsoft company Freefire Zone.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bags begin going down with airsoft guns

Eleven-year-old Davis Geske found a creative use for leftover sandbags.

He and friends from his Fargo neighborhood built bunkers to hide in while they played with Airsoft BB guns Saturday.

Each team started in a bunker and the boys shot each other with the soft pellets to eliminate the other players.

“It’s a lot of fun,” said Jon Roscoe, 11.

Floodwaters pushed into the Geskes’ backyard near Lindenwood Park, but didn’t come close enough to the house for them to need the sandbags.

As river levels continued to recede Saturday, homeowners began removing sandbags and cleaning up.

The National Weather Service lifted flood warnings for the Sheyenne River at West Fargo and the Maple River at Mapleton, N.D.

Clay County officials reopened Highway 26 from Highway 75 north to the Red River. Water remains on the road, but motorists can drive on it with caution.

In Fargo, the Red River was at 34.2 feet Saturday afternoon, down more than three feet from Wednesday’s crest at 37.11 feet.

To the north, cities including Drayton and Pembina, both in North Dakota, were still waiting for the Red River to crest, and high water was still presenting problems. But officials in most areas were making plans to begin the process of returning to normal.

In Grand Forks, N.D., officials said they hoped to reopen the downtown Sorlie Bridge on Monday, and the Point Bridge on the south edge of downtown as early as midweek. The Kennedy Bridge currently is the only open link between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks, Minn.

In Oakport Township north of Moorhead, Steve Schwindt started the task of taking down the ring of sandbags that kept his home dry.


“It’s easier to pick up the dike than to clean up the basement,” Schwindt said.

A shed in the family’s backyard remained underwater Saturday, but other items including an elf lawn ornament and a cooler had resurfaced.

Schwindt also began raking sticks out of the grass and back into the river.

His wife, Joanna Schwindt, said the flood brings large logs to their backyard that need to be pushed back into the river.

“The hard part is the cleanup,” she said.

Their neighbor Joe Himle worked on removing a line of sandbags that went in front of his garage.

About 10 people helped him put up the sandbags, but “they never come around to take it down,” he said.

It will be a few days before he can clean up a shop and another building on his property that still have high water.

The contents of his shed – three lawnmowers, a furnace, a refrigerator and saws – are in his yard and garage until the water recedes.

Himle said he will use the extra sand on the road leading to his shed that was washed out.

He plans to beef up his flood protection for next time.

“This is getting tiresome,” Himle said.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Olympia Student Arrested For Bringing Airsoft Handgun To School

OLYMPIA -- A student at Olympia's Chinook Middle School has been arrested for bringing a handgun to school.

Two other students were expelled Friday after officials found weapons in their backpacks. One boy had an Airsoft pistol, a knife and makeshift brass knuckles and the other had a small folding buck knife in his backpack.

Officials found no evidence that the boys planned to use the weapons.

The student who had the gun told police he brought it from home to show others at school. The weapon belongs to his father. District officials say there was no evidence of threats against the school, students or staff

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Airsoft gunman still unidentified at SDSU

A female campus custodian was reportedly held at gunpoint last week in Hepner Hall by a man who claimed to be from SWAT, McManus said. The custodian said the gunman then fled the area.

There were no suspects at the time, although University Police speculated that the gun owner might have been connected with a University Towers resident who was caught with an airsoft gun Monday night.

"Detectives are still looking into it," McManus said. "But we're still leaning toward (the idea that) it was probably a guy playing around at night.

"We went through that building with a fine-toothed comb, and no offices had been burglarized to make us think that somebody had interrupted a crook with a gun."

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Fort Pierce man hit with BB pellet from airsoft gun but doesn't press charges

A local man sustained a facial injury Friday night when he was hit in the eye with a BB air gun pellet, according to reports.
Josh Campbell, 24, of the 2200 block of Elizabeth Avenue, was in his driveway working on his truck when a 24-year-old man approached and shot an airsoft rubber BB into the truck. The BB ricocheted off the carpet of the vehicle and into Campbell's right eye.
Campbell's injuries were minor, officials said. He believed the incident was accidental, he reportedly told deputies.
The other man, who was not identified, sustained minor injury near his left eye when he was shot with Campbell's airsoft gun earlier Friday, reports said. Neither man faced charges.
(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Friday, March 31, 2006

Man arrested after alleged threat with airsoft rifle

KAHULUI – A homeless man was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly pointed what appeared to be a handgun at another man, police said.

Officers responding to the 2:38 p.m. call found an airsoft gun when they arrested 37-year-old Christopher Flanagan, said Lt. Glenn Cuomo of the Criminal Investigation Division.

He said the gun, which is not a firearm, shoots plastic pellets.

Police were called after a 40-year-old Kahului man reported seeing a man walk by with what appeared to be a handgun near Vevau and School streets in Kahului, Cuomo said. The Kahului man confronted the other man, Cuomo said, and the man allegedly pointed the gun at the victim before walking toward Queen Ka’ahumanu Center.

Officers arrested Flanagan after finding him on the staircase of the shopping center parking garage near Sears, Cuomo said.

Flanagan was charged with first-degree terroristic threatening. He was being held in lieu of $5,000 bail Wednesday at the Wailuku police station.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Young man pleads guilty to accidentally shooting friend with airsoft

OLYMPIA — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty this morning to third-degree assault for an accidentally shooting his friend in the head.
The defendant, Danial R. Coots, faces one to three months in jail.

His plea before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham possibly saved him from serving an 18-month prison term.

On Feb. 8, 2005, Coots, his friend, David Nelson, 18, were drinking alcohol about 1:30 a.m. with another friend’s sister, Brittany Wright, then 17, in the girl’s bedroom. The girl showed Coots a 9 mm handgun that her parents had given her for protection. While handling it, he accidentally shot Nelson in the head.

Nelson survived but has lingering medical problems that have changed his life, Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said.

The case was reviewed several times before charges were filed. If it had gone to trial, a jury would have been asked to decide if Coots was guilty of assault by criminal negligence because he was drinking and carelessly handling the weapon.

“There needs to be some accountability for this event. It’s hard for me under these circumstances to have a young man shot in the head, have his life changed forever, and not have any accountability for that at all,” Tunheim said.

Wright didn’t pull out the gun until after Coots noticed pellets from an Airsoft gun on her floor. He asked if she owned an Airsoft pellet gun and she replied, “Would you like to see my baby?” She then pulled out the gun from under her bed.

Coots thought it was merely a pellet gun, said Jim Dixon, his attorney.

He pulled back the action, which ejected a round that Coots did not see. When the action slid back, Coots’ finger was on the trigger.

Dixon would have argued that the shooting was an accident, and not a crime.

“The stakes were just too high for Danial,” he said, referring to the potential prison sentence for Coots if the case had gone to trial.

Both Coots and Nelson work for Olympic Arms, Inc., a firearms company in Thurston County.

All three teens were traumatized by the accident, attorneys said.

Wright, the girl, was charged in juvenile court with third-degree assault, where she pleaded guilty under an agreement that the charge would be dropped in a year as long as she testified, attended alcohol and drug counseling, and performed 40 hours of community service, court documents say.

Her parents and older brother were asleep when the shooting happened.

His sentencing hearing is set for May 2.
(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Former student charged with assault

A young man who fired a pellet gun in a Sardis secondary classroom last week is
facing several weapons-related


School district officials said the school's crisis management team is working through a threat assessment process this week in the aftermath of the assaults, as the suspect awaits his second court appearance.
The suspect is a former student who'd been "unsuccessful" in his studies and was dropping off some books at the school. It was during the lunch hour on March 22, that he allegedly pulled out and discharged the replica pistol five times, hitting three students with plastic pellets causing minor injuries.
RCMP arrested the 18-year-old man near the school a short time later, after several units converged on the Stevenson Road site, including dogs services and major crime section officers.
This week the school's crisis management team is working through a threat assessment process, says assistant superintendent Bob Patterson.
"It's a follow-up process we go through after the fact, and it's part of the training the school district has undertaken to deal with situations considered threatening," Patterson says.
"It's something we've been working on this year and it's a type of formal training for district personnel so they'll know how to read situations and read the signs of threatening situations, before they happen."
District and school staff as well as RCMP are involved in the threat assessment work.
"So it's a community response," Patterson adds. He also had high praise for the school's cool-headed reaction to a potentially red-hot situation.
"I want to commend staff and students at Sardis secondary for how they conducted themselves," he said.
Asked what motive the former student could have had for discharging the airsoft pistol in a classroom, the district official said, "I can't say anything at this point."
Sardis secondary principal Bob Long could not provide any details about the former student or what his motives may have been.
School staff has been walking through everything they did during the situation.
"We've been talking about how we might do things better or differently," he said.
The crisis team will meet more last time next week, he added.
Delton David Knox, 18, appeared in Chilliwack Provincial court Thursday and is charged with possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose, carrying a concealed weapon, and five counts of assault with a weapon. He's scheduled for a second court appearance March 29.
For Full Article Please Refer to Link

School board expels four for airsoft guns

The Janesville School Board expelled four students Tuesday. The students and the charges against them were:

-- A high school student, possessing dangerous weapons on school grounds. The student possessed two Airsoft handguns, which shoot plastic BBs, said Karen Schulte, director of student services. Schulte said the student pointed a gun at someone. She said the gun looks very similar to a firearm and would likely prompt a police officer to draw his own weapon.

This student was expelled for the rest of this school year but may attend summer school.

-- A high school student, fighting on school grounds. The student is expelled through the end of the 2006-07 school year.

He or she may apply for early reinstatement starting in the second semester of 2006-07 after undergoing an anger assessment and treatment.

-- A high school student, fighting on school grounds. The student is expelled through the end of the first semester of the 2007-08 school year.

He or she may apply for early reinstatement starting in the second semester of 2006-07 after satisfying conditions that include an anger assessment and treatment.

-- A middle school student, possessing a marijuana pipe on school grounds and repeated refusal or neglect to follow school rules. The student is expelled through the end of the 2006-07 school year.

He or she may apply to return earlier, starting in the first semester of 2006-07, after completing anger and drug assessments and treatment.

This brings to 34 the number of expulsions this school year, compared with 20 at this time last year.
(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Teen guilty of assault in accidental shooting

OLYMPIA — A 19-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to third-degree assault for accidentally shooting a friend.

The defendant, Danial R. Coots of Olympia, faces one to three months in jail. But his plea before Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham saved him from the possibility of serving a 21-month prison term.

On Feb. 8, 2005, Coots and a friend, David Nelson, then 19, were drinking alcohol with another friend’s sister, then 16. They went into the girl’s bedroom so she could get cigarettes, and she showed them a 9 mm handgun that her parents had given her for protection. While handling it, Coots accidentally shot Nelson in the head. It was about 1:30 a.m.

Nelson survived but has lingering medical problems. The bullet shattered his skull, severed his jaw and damaged his facial nerves.

He lost hearing in one ear and can’t close one eye or smile normally, said his mother, Donna Roush of Tenino.

He also developed psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder, she said.

“We don’t know where it’s going to lead with problems down the road. A little time has passed, and the little problems have started rearing
their heads,” she said.

The case also traumatized the other two teens and their families. Their parents questioned whether justice was served by filing charges against Coots and the girl — neither of whom had criminal records — for what they perceived as a horrible accident.

The girl was charged with third-degree assault in juvenile court for giving the weapon to Coots. She pleaded guilty in February under an agreement that the charge would be dropped in a year as long as she testified, attended alcohol and drug counseling, and performed 40 hours of community service, court documents say. The Olympian is not naming the girl because she is a minor.

Coots’ case was reviewed several times before charges were filed. If it had gone to trial, a jury would have been asked to decide whether Coots was guilty of assault by criminal negligence because he was drinking and carelessly handling the weapon.

“There needs to be some accountability for this event. It’s hard for me under these circumstances to have a young man shot in the head, have his life changed forever, and not have any accountability for that at all,” Chief Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jon Tunheim said.

He said he hopes it will deter others from careless gun-­handling.
Coots’ sentencing is set for May 2.

The girl pulled out the gun after Coots noticed pellets from an Airsoft gun in her room. He asked whether she owned an Airsoft pellet gun, and she replied, “Would you like to see my baby?” She then pulled out the gun from under her bed, attorneys said.

Coots thought it was a pellet gun, said Jim Dixon, his attorney.

He pulled back the action, which ejected a round that he did not see. When the action slid back, Coots’ finger was on the trigger while they were looking at it.

Both Coots and Nelson worked for Olympic Arms Inc., a firearms company in Thurston County.

In exchange for the guilty plea, prosecutors dismissed a firearms enhancement, which would have added 18 months to the sentence.

“The stakes were just too high for Danial,” Dixon said of his client’s decision to plead guilty. “He is completely broken up about it.”

Coots’ father, Don, said police gave him the impression that they thought the case looked like an accident with no criminal violations.

As a former state prison employee, he said, he can’t understand how his son might have faced a prison term as long as some inmates do for more serious crimes.

“These kids have the rest of their lives,” he said.

The girl’s mother, Tina Wright, said one of the boys brought the alcohol into their garage, where the boys were drinking. She said they were supposed to have gone to sleep but instead went into her daughter’s room for a few minutes.

She said her daughter was given the gun because someone had stolen one family car and broken into the family garage. She was taught how to handle it. “This was a horrible, horrible tragedy, and the bottom line is, we feel so thankful that David is alive,” she said.

But she said her family didn’t feel it would be able to fight the criminal charges because of her daughter’s emotional state over the incident.

“I really don’t want to shift the blame, because we want to own up to our share of it. But I’m just amazed at how much these kids are going through,” she said. “It just feels to me like she and Danial were really being bullied.”

The victim’s mother said she thinks the defendants should serve jail time and be required to take gun safety classes and drug and alcohol counseling. She said she doesn’t understand why the gun wasn’t stored in a safer location or better supervised.

“The things they took from us we can never take back,” she said.

(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Fake airsoft gun scare at Sardis Secondary

A former student who was returning some books Wednesday at Sardis secondary school took out a toy pistol and shot three students in a classroom.
An 18-year-old Chilliwack man was taken into custody by police near the school after officers converged on the Stevenson Road site.
"Due to the seriousness of the complaint, all available officers were sent to the scene, as well as members of the Police Dog Services and Major Crimes Unit, in an effort to ensure the safety of the students and the public," says Const. Bert Paquet. "The quick response by the members achieved that goal."
School-based crisis management team was called into action and support services are in place at the school. No one was seriously injured in the assault, but three victims sustained minor red marks where the plastic pellets of the 'airsoft' pistol hit them, according to reports.
"We're confident it wasn't directed at the school itself," says assistant superintendent Bob Patterson about the acts of aggression. "At these times, our number one priority is to maintain a very safe environment for our students."
The school district "always errs on the side of caution" and RCMP were called in to deal with the situation, he says.
The Sardis secondary principal informed the student body of the basic facts of the shooting to avoid any misinformation going out, Patterson adds.
The school's crisis management team has been debriefing and meeting with district staff on an ongoing basis.
The young man who pulled out and discharged the replica pistol, "was not successful as a student and came back to turn in his books," according to the school district official. "That's the reason he was at Sardis secondary that day."
But the actual shooting incident was unrelated to those academic circumstances, Patterson says.
What's worrisome but necessary for administrators is contemplating worst-case scenarios, he says.
"When you sit down as a school principal you have to ask, 'What would have happened if the weapon was the real McCoy?' says the official.
"So we've walked through that scenario. Those are the worst-case scenarios and you're always looking and considering what the processes would be, where is there room for improvement, and most importantly how do we best to maintain a safe environment for the kids."
RCMP would also like to remind the public that "toy pistols" or other replicas and imitations of actual handguns "become a serious threat to the safety of our community when they are carried, transported or used in public," adds Const. Paquet.
In Canada, according to, for a gun to be classified as a firearm, the velocity must be high enough for a fired projectile to penetrate the eye of a pig. Using this test, Airsoft guns that fire under 407 ft/s (124 m/s) are not currently classified as firearms. However when an airsoft weapon is used to commit a crime it is treated as if it were a real gun.
The suspect was being held in custody at the Chilliwack detachment pending his first court appearance which was scheduled for Thursday. At press time the charges against the suspect, if any, were not known.
(For Full Article Please Refer to Link)