A student in Lafayette was taken into custody Wednesday after they brought an airsoft gun into Centaurus High School and prompted a lockdown, the Boulder Valley School District confirmed in a public notice posted on social media.
“Bringing any type of replica or toy weapon to school is strictly prohibited,” the notice read. “As always, if you see something, say something to a teacher or school administrator as soon as possible. Keeping students safe is our top priority.”
The airsoft gun warning is one of several area schools have issued this year.
A student brought an airsoft weapon into Longmont High School Sept. 14, prompting a lockdown, said Robin Ericson, Longmont Public Safety spokesperson.
And in May, Boulder police said they found an airsoft gun in a student’s backpack at Casey Middle School, the Camera reported.
Longmont Public Safety posted images Sept. 15 on social media of real guns alongside an airsoft gun, to show the public how realistic fake firearms can look.
“Looking at any of these, one could understand why this would be reported to the police,” the post read. “Even the fake firearm looks real. Parents should closely monitor their kids if they possess these types of realistic airsoft weapons.”
In one case reported June 17, someone intentionally modified airsoft guns to look like firearms, the Boulder Police Department said in a tweet. The fake firearms were changed to look like an AK-47, a Colt and a Walther PPQ with a stock. In the social media post, the department called the guns a “scary discovery.”
Each time an airsoft gun incident is reported in the Boulder Valley School District, officials issue a warning that replica guns, toy weapons and airsoft weapons are strictly prohibited on school property.
“If you hear of a possible threat or see something out of the ordinary, immediately contact your school administrator, BVSD Security or local law enforcement,” the district’s website reads.
BB guns, pellet guns, paintball guns and airsoft guns can cause serious injuries or even death, according to a warning posted online by the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
“Children under 18 should always have an adult with them when using non-powder guns,” the warning read. “Children must be at least 10 years old to play at most paintball fields, and if they are under 18, they will need their parent’s consent. You must be at least 18 to buy a BB gun or airsoft gun. Non-powder guns should never be taken out in public.”
The children’s hospital network posted the following tips for parents on its website:
- There should always be an adult watching when a child is using a non-powder gun.
- Make sure your child is always wearing their face mask when they are around any non-powder guns.
- Always treat a gun as if it is loaded. This means no pointing the gun at others and no looking down the barrel.
- When firing at their target, always know what is behind, beyond and around it.
- Keep their finger off of the trigger until they are ready to fire.
Non-life threatening emergencies, such as suspicious activity, can be reported to the Boulder Valley School District’s 24-hour security dispatch at 720-561-5051, or 303-442-2400. In the case of a life-threatening emergency, call 911.