By Max Bowenfirstname.lastname@example.org
North Attleborough High School students were removed from the premises on Wednesday after they were observed to be in possession of an air-soft gun, according to school officials.
In a statement issued by the high school and posted to the NAPD Facebook page, students were in the cafeteria prior to the start of school on Wednesday. At that time, a student was found to be in possession of an air-soft gun that appeared to be a firearm. This was reported to the administration and the item was confiscated. Those responsible for possessing the air-soft gun were removed from the school.
“The North Attleborough Police were informed and are actively working with school administration in the management of this incident,” the statement read. “All students involved will be accountable to the North Attleborough High School’s disciplinary policies as required under Massachusetts General Law.”
The statement said that no one was injured during this incident, though the possession of the weapon served to incite fear. A public address announcement was made to the entire school once the air-soft gun had been confiscated. The school day continued as normal following the incident.
“As always the safety and well-being of all members of our school community is our highest priority and we will continue to work with NAPD in the management of this incident,” the statement read.
Air-soft guns are best compared to BB or pellet guns that are often manufactured to look just like real firearms, according to information posted to the web site FindLaw.com. These guns fire pellets via gas, spring, or electrical systems, and are used for paintball-style gaming, target practice, firearms training, and as movie props.
According to one study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2005 approximately 19,675 non-powder gun injuries were treated in United States emergency rooms. Of these injuries, 71 percent involved individuals 20 or under. Although that study was not limited to Air-soft guns, Air-soft guns fire BBs at speeds of hundreds of feet per second, creating a real risk of serious eye injury.
The web site states that federal importation laws in the United States require that all Air-soft 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 Air-soft guns have disclaimers stating that their Air-soft guns are sold with an orange tip, and that it is illegal to remove it.
Furthermore, individuals in the U.S. must be 18 years of age or older to purchase an Air-soft gun. These are not classified as firearms and are legal for use by all ages under federal law. Some municipalities and states place restrictions on these guns. New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, and parts of Michigan outlaw them entirely.