Pellet guns ‘are not toys’

2007-11-23 00:00

The new Firearms Act prescribes that pellet guns may be purchased as they pose no danger, if handled in a responsible and safe manner. However, if they are used dangerously and pose a danger to the general public, animals and other protected species, the user may be prosecuted.

Two recent incidents have once again triggered debate as to whether a pellet gun is a toy or a weapon.

Last Saturday, a Humansdorp teenager was admitted to hospital after a 12-year-old boy shot her with a pellet gun.

She was shot in the vagina and had to undergo an operation so that doctors could remove the pellet.

A case of attempted murder is being investigated and the docket has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision. The boy could be charged with attempted murder.

A week earlier, a Vanderbijlpark man was shot in the jaw by a pellet gun while waiting for his friends outside a shop.

It is believed that two youths shot the man from a nearby flat and fled when police arrived.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesman Superintendent Vincent Mdunge told Weekend Witness that parents need to accept that they or their children will be held accountable if a life is lost or if someone is injured as a result of a pellet gun.

“The department is further of the view that children may be encouraged to play with other safer toys as opposed to pellet guns as this might provoke an element of violence in the future society,” he added.

Lihle Cwinya-ai of Gun Free South Africa (GFSA) said it is a pity that many South Africans are attracted to “dangerous things”.

“Pellet guns are generally a very dangerous apparatus and we need to send out the message that they are not toys. Adverts displaying pellet guns have already been published ahead of Christmas and I am urging parents not to buy such dangerous gifts. Parents should buy safer education toys instead of something that encourages violence,” she said.

Cwinya-ai said that GFSA has embarked on several projects to highlight the roles that toy guns play in children’s lives.

“In August we launched a project advising parents to stay away from buying toy guns and are hoping the message is being heard, but once again I must say that a pellet gun should not be regarded as a toy because it is dangerous, especially when it can be used to deliberately injure someone,” Cwinya-ai added.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.