Safety Warning Issued for Paintball Guns

Based on its investigation of two deaths caused by carbon dioxide canisters flying off paintball guns, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing a warning about handling the guns.

Played by close to 10 million people at more than 2,500 sites across the country, the sport of paintball has become increasingly popular in recent years. Powered by carbon dioxide canisters that produce high air pressures, the guns can fire pellets at speeds of up to 300 feet per second.

In a new warning from the CPSC, the organization instructs paintball players to handle the nickel-plated valves that connect to guns' carbon dioxide canisters with extreme caution.

The CPSC says the valve should never be unscrewed from the canister. During canister removal from the gun, the CPSC says the valve must stay closed and rotate with the canister.

In June 2003, a 15-year-old boy died after being struck in the head by the carbon dioxide canister as he was removing it from a paintball gun. Then, in February 2004, a California mom was killed at her 10-year-old son's birthday party by a canister that hit her after someone else was removing the canister from a paintball gun.

The CPSC is also recommending that people make sure that any modifications to the paintball gun or the carbon dioxide canister are done properly.

For more information on this latest paintball gun safety warning, go to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's Web site: www.cpsc.gov

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