Dubuque Police Department looks to amend city firearms ordinance
Written by Lauren DeWitt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
DUBUQUE (KWWL) -
Monday, the Dubuque Police Department will ask the Dubuque City Council to amend the cities ordinance pertaining to firearms. The department will ask spring-loaded weapons be added on the list of weapons illegal to carry. Spring-loaded weapons are commonly used to get rid of pests such as groundhogs and gophers, but the weapons can also be dangerous.
The guns are similar to traditional BB guns but shoot a variety of projectiles including plastic ball pellets. The greatest difference between a spring loaded gun and a traditional BB gun is spring loaded guns use springs to project the projectiles as opposed to air power used with a traditional BB gun. Although the density of projectiles for spring loaded guns may vary in hardness and density, the weapons can discharge at speeds over 300 feet per second. Speeds that can cause damage to property or even bodily injury.
Ken Freiburger is co-owner of The Gun Depot in Dubuque. He says he doesn't sell many spring loaded guns but says they can be dangerous.
"It could take out a window and it could pierce skin." said Freiburger.
Being dangerous is the same reason gun owner Michael Farley says they just shouldn't be allowed.
"They shouldn't be allowed. Spring-loaded guns could hurt somebody very innocent." said Farley.
The Dubuque Police Department says there have been crimes taking place each year with spring loaded guns. They say the guns have been used in cases of criminal mischief, assault, robbery and in some cases just to intimidate or place fear in others.
"99% of the people out there will not know the difference between a spring-loaded gun and a real gun. If you wave one of these out in a crowd, you are going to cause a lot of panic. If you walk into a store, the clerk behind the counter and the people that are in the store they will not be able to identify that this is not a real gun." said Freiburger.
Although some spring-loaded guns come with an orange cap in order to distinguish the gun from a real one, those caps can be easily taken off or modified.
The amended ordinance would include exceptions for training, recreation, or competitive events.
Monday, September 1 2014 5:41 PM EDT2014-09-01 21:41:17 GMT
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