Can a BB gun kill you?

can a bb gun kill you

Projectile-shooting airsoft or pellet weapons are known as BB guns. If used incorrectly, these non-powder firearms can be lethal. This might answer the question, “Can a BB gun kill you?”

The gun fires these pellets with a high muzzle velocity.

BB gun owners typically mention the Second Amendment when addressing BB gun regulations because they believe the law protects them.

By studying the science and facts surrounding BB gun injuries and fatalities, this article will investigate if these assertions are true. By doing so, we seek to clarify prevalent myths and misconceptions about BB guns and offer a more realistic picture of their actual lethality.


BB guns are projectile-shooting airsoft weapons, often known as pellet guns. A “BB” is a spherical pellet, sometimes known as a “bullet ball,” that is trapped inside a shotgun shell and looks like a ball bearing or a single lead shot. The gun fires these pellets with a high muzzle velocity.

Even though some people may view BB guns as toy firearms, in some circumstances, they can be extremely hazardous and result in serious harm or even death.

 Due to their high muzzle velocities, can a BB gun can kill? yes! it can, according to a safety advisory from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to the CPSC, BB or pellet, guns result in roughly 4 fatalities annually. Even so, BB guns are subject to far fewer limitations than actual firearms.

Can a BB gun kill you?

Yes, that is the response. One can die from a BB gun. BB guns were created to be non-lethal weapons, yet in some situations, they nonetheless pose a major threat to human life. The kind of gun, the size of the BB, and the velocity of the projectile are only a few of the variables that affect a BB gun’s power. 

Projectiles fired from some BB guns at rates of over 1,000 feet per second have the potential to kill or seriously hurt people.

There have been several instances of reported deaths and injuries brought on by BB guns. A 13-year-old kid in California, for instance, passed away in 2018 from a BB gun wound to the chest. A BB gun wound to the head caused the death of a 15-year-old boy in Texas in 2020.

These incidents show how crucial it is to be aware of the potential for BB guns to be harmful and to handle them safely.

Basics of BB guns

Let’s examine the operation of BB guns first before talking about their potential lethality. 

Small pellets or BBs are fired by compressed air or gas-powered BB guns. The bullet is forced out of the gun’s barrel by the discharge of air or gas that is held in a chamber and released when the trigger is pulled.

Different BB weapons have different forms, sizes, and powers. Some drive the pellets using a straightforward spring mechanism, whereas others employ pressurized gas. 

There are other BB guns with numerous pumps and CO2 power that can fire several pellets before needing to be refilled.

The strength of BB guns

The type of gun, the pellets’ caliber, and the firing speed all have an impact on a BB gun’s power.

Feet per second (fps) is a unit of measurement for velocity; the greater the fps, the more potent the weapon. Many BB guns have velocities of 300 to 500 fps, although other types can reach 1,000 fps or more. 

At this speed, a BB may pierce the skin and seriously hurt someone, especially if it strikes a crucial organ. In that situation, a BB gun may potentially be lethal.

Tips for BB Gun Safety

If you use a BB gun, you must follow BB gun safety rules to reduce the chance of gun injury or death. Here are some BB gun safety tips:

  • Always use protective equipment, especially eye protection, because BB gun eye injuries are prevalent.
  • When handling a BB gun, follow state and municipal BB gun legislation, federal weapons laws, manufacturer warnings, and safety advice.
  • If you own or sell BB guns, you must still handle them with utmost caution. BB guns are not toy firearms; they have the potential to harm or kill. To avoid damage, use correct weapon safety procedures.
  • Check the relevant local and state BB gun legislation for that state if you want to use a BB gun there.
  • Make sure you receive safety instruction and hands-on BB gun experience.

If it’s against the law where you live, never allow kids to play with BB guns. 

  • Teens must receive training on how to use BB guns properly and with an adult present.
  • Never shoot a BB gun while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

Additional safety gear such as gloves and ear protection should be used. Utilizing a BB gun can significantly lower the danger of injury or death by adhering to these safety guidelines and wearing safety gear.

Federal laws on BB guns

It is against the law to sell, buy, or possess a gun in the United States. Some of these national regulations include BB guns. 

You may be subject to criminal prosecution under the Brady Act if you have a criminal record or if you fit into one of the particular groups or conditions indicated below.

This federal statute prohibits the following situations from owning, using, or possessing a BB gun:

1. Had a conviction for a felony that carried a sentence of more than a year in jail

2. You are running from the law.

3. Abuse any controlled substance illegally or are dependent on it

4. Have been admitted to a mental institution or have had their mental condition determined by a court.

5. Are you an illegal foreigner residing in the US against the law?

6. Had a dishonorable discharge from the American military.

7. If you are a citizen of the US, you have renounced your citizenship.

8. You are the target of a court-issued restraining order involving your “intimate partner,” their kid, or children.

Check with a local lawyer to see if you may own, purchase, or use a BB gun if you fit any of the aforementioned scenarios or classifications.

The CPSC advises that only children 16 years of age or older may use a BB gun, even though they are unable to enact legally binding legislation. 

The American Pediatric Surgical Association also urges improved parental oversight while BB guns are in use and emphasize that all kids and adults use eye protection to prevent eye injuries.

State regulations on BB guns

State-by-state BB gun regulations differ significantly. While some states have minimal or no regulations on BB guns, some of them do.

According to California law, a “BB device” is any device that fires a projectile, such as a BB or pellet, using the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action. 

To sell, lend, or transfer a BB gun, also known as a “BB device,” to a juvenile is a misdemeanor in the state of California.

Many states forbid the open carrying of BB weapons in public, sometimes known as the “right to carry.” Any “right to carry” statute that BB gun owners may have benefited from in their home state may not be reciprocated for or recognized when they enter another state with their airsoft weapons.

In many places, it is up to the jury to decide whether a BB gun qualifies as a “deadly weapon.” In these circumstances, the offender could represent the BB pistol as a real gun. If someone uses a BB gun to harm, rob someone at gunpoint, or kill someone(can a BB gun kill you), there are various criminal repercussions.

Alternatives to BB guns

There are various self-defense and fun alternatives to BB guns. Pellet guns, which employ pellets rather than BBs and may deliver a more powerful punch, are a popular alternative.

Non-lethal self-defense equipment, such as pepper spray or shock guns, provides another alternative to BB guns. They can be a safer and more effective solution for personal defense, particularly for people who are not familiar with weapons.

For leisure shooting, there are other non-lethal choices available, such as airsoft guns that fire plastic pellets rather than metal BBs. 

These weapons, which mimic genuine firearms, are well-liked for both competitive play and leisure shooting.

In the end, it’s crucial to select a tool or weapon that fits your demands, level of expertise, and safety concerns.


If used improperly, BB guns can be deadly and inflict significant injury. It’s important to adhere to safety regulations and handle BB guns like actual firearms. 

Additionally, there are federal and state rules that control the ownership and usage of BB guns. Therefore, abusing them may have legal repercussions. 

BB gun alternatives, like other air weapons or non-lethal solutions, might offer a safer amusement or self-defense option. Overall, it’s critical to be aware of the possible risks associated with BB guns and to put safety first while using them.


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