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BB Gun "Recall" Appears Suspicious (followup) (12/31/2001)

Josey1Josey1 Member Posts: 15,758
edited December 2001 in General Discussion
BB gun recall appears suspicious Sunday, December 30, 2001By J. Michael Kelly An attempt by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to force the Daisy Manufacturing Company to recall 7.5 million of its popular BB guns appears to be a sorry example of politics as usual.On Oct. 30, the Commission voted 2 to 1 to file an administrative lawsuit against Daisy. Chairman Ann Brown, a Clinton-administration appointee, engineered the move just weeks before resigning her post.Daisy, for those who may not recognize the name, is the maker of the Red Ryder model lever-action BB gun that was the object of little Ralphie Parker's desires in the classic holiday movie, "A Christmas Story."The CPSC, however, is worked up about two other Daisy products, the Model 856 and the Model 880 airguns. One has been on the market for 30 years, the other for 17.Consumer Product Safety Commission staff said the BB guns pose a danger to children who use them. Alleged defects in the two models include their gravity-feed magazines, the lack of a safety mechanism that would re-set itself after each shot, and the adaptability of the guns to telescopic sights which, if installed, might impede the ability of the shooter to see a BB in the loading port.If those design characteristics really constitute product defects, most other airgun manufacturers are in trouble, along with Daisy. They're industry standards. Gravity-feed magazines, for example, have been used in BB guns for more than 100 years.More serious is the Commission's allegation that the two Daisy rifles have a flaw that permits BBs to become lodged in their mechanisms without the shooter's awareness. CPSC investigators blamed the so-called lodging problem for three accidental deaths and 47 serious injuries since 1972.However, the case against Daisy appears to be wide of the bull's eye, if not completely off-target.In response to the majority report, dissenting Commissioner Mary Sheila Gall said the Consumer Product Safety Commission's laboratory was unable to duplicate the supposed lodging problem, despite numerous attempts.Further, Gall noted, a BB pellet lodged in the barrel or magazine of a Model 856 or Model 880 air rifle could not be discharged unless the shooter first pulled a bolt handle to the rear, pushed the bolt handle forward again, pumped the gun to attain necessary air pressure, disengaged the safety and, finally, pulled the trigger.Gall might have added that no one can be shot, accidentally or on purpose, unless a gun is being pointed at that person, in violation of the most basic firearms safety rule.Airguns are not toys. That's why Daisy doesn't sell BB guns to persons under the age of 16, and warns customers against using any of its products without adult supervision.On the net: Whispering Pines Hideaway, a licensed shooting preserve near the Wayne County village of Lyons, has a computer website, www.fingerlakes.net/hideaway, that elaborates on its rates and facilities with words and pictures.For hunters who are shy about surfing the Internet, the 3,000-acre Hideaway also has a telephone, (315) 946-6170.J. Michael Kelly is the outdoors writer for The Post-Standard. c 2001 The Post-Standard. Used with permission. http://www.syracuse.com/outdoors/syrnewspapers/index.ssf?/sportsstories/20011230_skelly.html
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