When I first decided to do this proposed concept regarding the Federal government to enact legislation restricting non-powder guns to minors. They're often called toy or imitation guns which is a misnomer and a tragic mix up as you'll soon learn why. Non-Powder Guns are compressed gas fired weapons be they a compressed gas cylinder as in paint ball weapons. Or pump action BB (plastic) and Pellet (metal) based ammunition that usually fire silently and can be used to hunt small game animals.
The Cleveland, Ohio 12 year old youth named "Tamir Rice" got caught up briefly with the national infamous cases of Ferguson, Missouri and New York City. Of the hotbed police shootings of unarmed black males although in the New York City case it was a fatal choke hold caught on video of "Mr. Eric Garner". Young Tamir's case wasn't unheard of as tragic as that sounds by just doing a search on the Internet will show. However the so-called toy gun (BB / Pellet gun) is one capable of killing nonetheless and maiming due to the chronic cases of children losing their eye to an ill placed shot to the face.
My conceptual proposal for the interested general public would be to enact Federal legislation. To restrict access to minors under the age of 16 years old of the aforementioned non-powder weapons. Right now in 24 U.S. States there are a variety of State wide ordinances to restrict the usage of these non powder guns with minors. However the rest of the Union of those 26 States and on the Federal level do not have any such legislative restrictions.
One of the greatest barriers is the cultural myth or fallacy that these non-powder weapons are Toys. They aren't since if such a weapon is used in the commission of a crime its treated as a regular assault by a deadly weapon. So I first recommend that the famous public national service announcement agency known as the "Ad Council" (Link) be enlisted. To develop a PSA (Public Service Announcement) educating the masses regarding the real basis of non-powder weapons (ie BB, Pellet, & Paint Ball). In conjunction with such a televised commercial spotlight to have all public school districts create educational modules to teach parents. Of the ill societal effects of unsupervised minors with non-powder weapons. To allocate Federal and State block grants for such a purpose via the Dept. of Education and affiliated Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies. To partner with non-profit organizations that are gun safety oriented and other children advocacy groups. Also, any private schools are welcome on a voluntary basis to partake in such a national public education initiative.
The second initiative supported by Federal Law Enforcement agencies be they the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) or the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigations) if warranted. Including every State Trooper and local police department to coordinate with governmental grants and private donations to offer a string of Gun Buy Back Events. That include the purchase of unwanted non-powder guns during such a national and regional education campaign. Once the ignorance is pealed back from parents as to what lays usually in the non or under supervised hands of their children. Let them think twice about owning such a classification of weapons in the home.
The final thrust of such a movement is to have sympathetic lobbying groups. Be they from the general public or from industry to petition both houses of the Federal Congress. To develop a bi-partisan bill modeled after the best in the aforementioned 24 U.S. States have in their laws already. Here are a few examples what these 24 U.S. States have in common with restrictions to minors regarding non-powder guns. Children bringing such a weapon to school (Public or Private) including brandishing it in a school bus is an immediate disciplinary expulsion. Other examples are of no brandishing such weapons in public or where the public can be endangered. This includes the public transit system, public parks or recreational facility, and often direct supervision is required from a parent or adult guardian. (List courtesy of "Pellet Gun Zone.com")
As we all soon can realize our Federal Congress under this era has a popularity rating of horrendous proportions. So if such a movement did get stuck or waffle at the Federal legislation level. A back-up plan to attempt to sweep such an legislation initiative on behalf of families everywhere. Would take this to the other 26 U.S. States that do not have any such restrictions to minors on the books. Otherwise a cursory review of those highly valued States that do to give their existing laws a necessary face lift if at all warranted. Nearly half the country in regards to the States have led by example. And yet our Federal government in regards to living by their own purported values is no where to be found on such an issue.
The picture above is from an October 23rd, 2013 Santa Rosa, California case of a 13 year old boy named "Andy Lopez". That was holding a realistic looking replica to the AK 47 Assault Styled Weapon. The Non-Powdered Weapon is the one on the right hand side. The boy was walking in his neighborhood wearing a hooded sweatshirt and had the barrel pointed upwards. When the police stopped him and ordered him to the ground it was mere seconds later Andy was shot dead. (Link: Santa Barbara County Coalition Against Gun Violence )
Ohio State Representative Alicia Reece already had a bill in the works for her State Congress. Before the tragedy of "Tamir Rice" took place last November 26th, 2014 in the city of Cleveland.(Link: US News.com Reports Ohio Toy Gun Regulation ) This horrifying event for Ohio I'm sure rallies them onwards for humane treatment through safety and prevention for future families in their State. Let's hope Federal and State Legislators stop playing petty bickering games of partisanship when children's lives are at stake.