A Philadelphia City Council Committee has endorsed stiffer penalties for merchants who sell BB guns in the city.
The bill would allow the city to suspend for up to a year the license of any retailer who sells the air guns that shoot pellets. The BB guns closely resemble their real counterparts, and could be mistaken for a weapon in the hands of a youth, and that has community activists upset.
What’s more, as Terrence Carpenter says, the BB guns are just plain dangerous in their own right.
“I can’t find any redeeming qualities or good qualities of having a BB gun for inner city youth,” he testified Tuesday during a committee hearing. “I just heard a police officer say they are fun to play with. They can only hurt, they can only maim, and they can only blind. I don’t know how much fun that is.”
Capt. Francis Healy, special adviser to city Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, said part of the bill is to create awareness.
“Many businesses in the city have multiple businesses under one business license. So if you revoke one license, any and all businesses associated with that business go down as well,” Healy said. “That’s a very, very Draconian measure, and I think it’s absolutely necessary.
“The goal here is to change behavior — it’s not to clean shelves out, it’s not to take product away from people,” he said “It’s to make sure they don’t sell them in Philadelphia.”
The bill now goes to the full City Council for consideration.