Punishment could be as severe for someone using a BB gun to commit a crime as it could be for someone using a more powerful weapon, according to police.
“If a person leads someone to believe it is an actual firearm … It’s still an aggravated crime,” Stiver said.
Many of the teenagers are obtaining the BB guns without their parents’ knowledge, according to police. Community leaders are urging parents to discuss the risks that come with carrying items that can be perceived as real weapons before they become victims of gun violence.
“We want to protect young people in our communities as much as possible,” said Crosby. “Allowing them to carry a BB gun while we’re seeing an uptick in gun violence will only make things worse.”
Police advise residents to contact them if they feel threatened by someone who is carrying what they perceive to be a real firearm. They should never engage them, police said.