Friday, January 04, 2013

Florida man launches pellet gun attack on couple in parking lot after asking "Are you Muslim?"

In what is, perhaps the strangest news to date, a blond haired white man attacked a young couple in a Walmart parking lot in Florida after approaching them and asking "Are you Muslim?"

"The first question to the male was ‘are you of Middle Eastern descent?' " explained Doug Tobin, spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.

Tobin said the male victim responded, "No, I'm not."

Then the man asked another question: "Are you Muslim?"

The victim again responded, "No, I'm not a Muslim."

Deputies say the suspect then yelled a racial slur, alluding to the fact the victim was "with a white woman."

Then the man pulled out a BB or air soft gun.

"The suspect shot about 20 rounds of this air soft/Pellet gun, toward our victims. Fortunately, they weren't seriously hurt. But it's a serious crime," Tobin said.

The attack is being treated as a hate crime.  The male victim was treated and released at the scene, and the young woman who was with him was not hurt.   The perpetrator escaped, and is still at large. The attack is being treated as a hate crime.

While airsoft guns are considered to be toys, the truth is that they are projectile weapons capable of inflicting harm. adds:

Airsoft is considered illegal in various countries such as Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore, and some countries like Canada prohibit the importation of "replica" Airsoft guns. However, federal importation laws in the United States simply require that all Airsoft guns transported within or imported into the country have barrels with a minimum 6mm wide blaze orange tip, so as to avoid confusion with real firearms. Most retailers of Airsoft guns have disclaimers stating that their Airsoft guns are sold with an orange tip, and that it is illegal to remove the orange tip.

Furthermore, individuals in the U.S. must be 18 years of age or older to purchase an Airsoft gun. On the other hand, Airsoft guns are not classified as firearms and are legal for use by all ages under federal law. However, some municipalities and states place restrictions on Airsoft guns. New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and parts of Michigan outlaw Airsoft guns entirely.

Some countries have specific restrictions on Airsoft guns, such as maximum muzzle velocity standards, restrictions on use of trademarks of real firearms, and required use of 'unrealistic' coloring to distinguish Airsoft guns from actual firearms.

Finally, states such as California have laws that make it a crime to brandish a look-alike gun in public. Furthermore, individuals using an Airsoft or replica gun to commit crimes will invariably be treated as though they had used an actual firearm.

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