Airsoft Safety for Pre-Teens and Teens

If your pre-teen or teenage son or daughter is begging for an Airsoft gun, there are several safety considerations you will need to think about prior to giving in. If you are a parent of a certain age, then you likely remember having a BB gun-and also remember the windows that mysteriously ended up broken or the welt a BB leaves on tender young skin. You may wonder if your child is responsible enough to engage in the proper safety precautions regarding Airsoft guns, or, depending on where you live, whether there is sufficient space for your child to actually use the Airsoft. Further, you will also want to check out your local laws regarding Airsoft guns.

Because they so closely resemble a real firearm, more and more states are enacting restrictions on their use. Right now, if you live anywhere in the state of California, although it is legal to purchase (if you are 18) and use (any age) an Airsoft gun, should someone believe you are brandishing it in public, you could be in serious trouble. And if an Airsoft gun is used in the commission of a crime, then it doesn't matter at all whether it's a real gun or not, California courts will proceed as though it was.

What is an Airsoft?

If you are new to the whole Airsoft gun craze, then you should know that Airsoft guns are extremely realistic toys which fire tiny, flexible "bullets" at ranges of up to 150 feet, at a speed of approximately 85-90 meters per second. The Airsoft games originated in Japan-where real guns were illegal-- as a sort of team sport like paintball. Today's Airsoft guns are amazing reproductions of today's rifles and handguns, not to mention military weapons. Airsoft guns come in three basic types: spring-operated, gas operated and battery operated.

The spring-operated Airsoft guns require you to pull back the bolt of the gun before each shot, while the gas-powered Airsoft guns use condensed carbon dioxide to shoot the ammunition. The electric (rechargeable battery powered) versions are the most complex of all Airsoft guns. Most electric Airsoft guns can be used as a full automatic or a semi-automatic. The batter drives an electric motor; these types of Airsoft guns are the most widely used and easily available on the market today, and good for beginners or experts.

Safety Issues

So, are Airsoft guns safe? That actually depends on how well you have trained your child in basic firearm safety. Children should be taught to treat an Airsoft gun as though it were a real firearm-this ensures there will be no "accidents," which could be potentially serious. As a whole, Airsoft guns are probably safer than the neighborhood football game, as there have been relatively few injuries reported from games of neighborhood Airsoft. As long as you make sure your child wears a protective mask, goggles and gloves, you can probably rest easy in knowing there will be no injuries due to an Airsoft game.

Parental Responsibilities

While Airsoft guns are considered relatively safe, as a parent you should learn and follow firearm safety guidelines, and teach your child safe gun handling rules. Make sure your child uses a full face mask, and uses the Airsoft only with your express permission. Provide a safe place for your child and others to play Airsoft, and spend some time watching them play. Children should know to always point the Airsoft in a safe direction, to keep their finger away from the trigger until they are ready to shoot, to never point an Airsoft at a person or animal, and to wear protective gear. When safety rules are adhered to, Airsoft games are a fun and enjoyable way for pre-teens and teens to get out from in front of the television.