Boy Scouts of America water gun rules criticized

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Boy Scouts of America banned water gun fights from troop events.

The organization claimed pointing even fake guns at people goes against the Scout oath.

It didn’t matter whether it was a giant SuperSoaker or a little watergun, the Boy Scouts banned them all, because pointing a gun, whether it’s plastic or real, was not ‘kind.'”

“To meet the Boy Scouts is about being a boy,” Boy Scout mom Laura Bolin said.

The rule left some local scout moms confused.

“I think they’re taking something too far, to the extreme,” Bolin said.

The rule states Scouts can only use water guns and rubber bands to shoot at targets, not people.

Some moms said they can understand the concept behind that decision.

“I think that’s probably any good parenting advice anyways. You’re not going to shoot your sister or your brother. You can shoot at the target,” Bolin said.

“If it’s harmful and they’re playing with it, of course I wouldn’t want that,” said Maha Amleh who had two boys in scouts. “But if it’s just because they’re playing with a toy gun, then I don’t agree.”

The rule also put limits on water balloon fights.

Balloons must be biodegradable and can’t be larger than a ping-pong ball.

Local Boy Scout officials refused to go on camera, but did send WREG statement saying, “water guns could be considered a firearm, and this falls into the category covered in our Guide to Safe Scouting, and the National Shooting Sports Manuel.”

They claimed the rule was not new and that the Scouts still focused on teaching gun safety.

Most parents said triggering conversations about weapons safety with kids makes sense, but a blanket ban on plastic pistols just does not.

“I don’t know why you have to come out and publicly say, ‘We’re against this now!’ It can be done on a troop by troop level,” Bolin said.

The Boy Scouts of America manual also prohibited items like boomerangs, potato guns and marshmallow shooters.

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