Air rifles can reliably cause lethal injuries

After encountering two life-threatening thoracic injuries in their own practice, two surgeons conducted a study to assess the injuries that a commonly available air rifle could cause. They tested .22 calibre spring-loaded airguns in a series of shooting experiments on pig cadavers, finding they could reliably cause lethal injuries from 10 metres away.  Furthermore, nine out of 10 shots penetrated the chest wall, going 106mm deep on average. These kinds of firearms are currently available in NZ to people over the age of 18 without any background checks or license, but the authors say these findings back the idea that they should be considered more like small-bore rifles – and restricted accordingly. 


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