Firearms police were deployed to a Corby secondary school after a child fired an imitation gun during a lesson.
The year ten pupil at Lodge Park Academy in Shetland Way, Corby, pulled the weapon - later found to be a ball bearing gun - from his bag on Wednesday (February 6) and is believed to have fired it through aluminium sheets inside the classroom.
It is thought the child had also brought the weapon into lessons on the previous day (Tuesday) but had been told to put it away by a member of staff.
Several alarmed parents have contacted the Northants Telegraph after hearing of the incident. One said: “I can’t understand why the teacher had failed to remove the gun on Tuesday.
“The pupil was messing around with it in lessons. He shouldn’t have something like that in school.
“These things are no joke. A child could be permanently blinded if they get hit in the eye with one.
“Teachers are supposed to be teaching them right from wrong. We know there’s a massive rise in gang related incidents and gun and knife crime in our county and we need be sending a clear message to our children about this.”
The child involved was removed from the classroom when the police arrived in school and the weapon seized.
A police spokeswoman said: “We received an online crime report on Wednesday (February 6) that a student had brought in a replica firearm, later found to be a BB gun, and fired it in class.
“After corresponding with the person who made the report, we deployed officers to the school and they gave strong words of advice top both the pupil and the parents of the pupil.
“No arrests were made.”
It is illegal for a child to carry anything that could be considered an imitation firearm in a public place.
A school spokesman said: “We can confirm that the recent incident regarding a banned item being brought into school has been has been dealt with swiftly and robustly.
“The safety of our students and colleagues is paramount and in addition to the actions already taken we will be running a series of assemblies and tutor time activities to ensure students fully understand why we have rules on banned items.”
BB Guns and the law
You must be 18 years old or over and be a member of a soft-air club to buy and possess a realistic BB gun.
If you are not a member of a soft-air club, but still over 18 years old, you can only purchase a non-realistic BB gun, which will be manufactured in an obscure colour (pink, yellow etc).
If you are under 18 years old, you can only possess a BB gun on private land.
BB guns (which fire ball bearings or plastic pellets) are often played with as toys but they are not toys and they can be very dangerous and, potentially, could seriously injure or kill someone.
A BB gun is considered to be an imitation firearm, which is defined as “any thing which has the appearance of being a firearm whether or not it is capable of discharging any shot, bullet or missile”.
It is illegal to carry an imitation firearm in public and the consequences could be very serious.
If someone calls the police, when the police arrive, they will not know for sure that it is a BB gun. Even trained police officers sometimes have difficulty distinguishing these guns from actual firearms and have to act as if they are real. Their response may treat the weapon as if it is a live firearm.