The dangers of non-powder firearms

Brandi A. Chrismas, Jack Powles


Non-powder weapons have become a persistent threat in today’s society. They are found outside of competitive sports at an increasing rate, being misused among young individuals, and have emerged in Canadian criminal activity. In some cases, misuse of these weapons has led to death or serious injuries. Individual and community safety are at risk when fake firearms are in the hands of criminals, as they can be altered to look and perform like real firearms. They are a particular challenge for law enforcement, who cannot be expected to distinguish fake firearms from real ones under stress. This research found fake firearms to be easily accessible and the regulations around their security and control sorely lacking and often resisted. Education regarding non-powder firearms was also found to be inadequate, when it exists at all. Awareness, education and further regulation are needed to help focus on these issues. This research concludes that it would be beneficial to treat non-powder weapons like real firearms in every aspect: storage, transportation, and handling.


Guns; replica firearms; air-powered weapons; firearms safety; community safety

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ISSN: 2371-4298 (Online)