Pellet Guns vs. Real Guns

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- In the aftermath of at least one and quite possibly two deadly shootings within the last month, we've learned that the person shot and killed was only carrying a pellet gun.

So we were curious, how similar do pellet guns and real guns look?

Police won't say if Brandon Pierce, the teen who died robbing the jewelry store last Friday was carrying a pellet gun, but his family says he was. Logan Bell, the teen killed by Rockford cops, was definitely carrying one. So today, Meghan Dwyer checked out a pellet gun today and she tells us it looked exactly like the real thing.

In Illinois, airsoft guns must have orange tips on them so they look fake, but there's no requirement like that for pellet guns. Gun enthusiast Bob Mlsna got his hands on a pellet gun when a friend took it away from his teenage son. It's much more lightweight than the real thing, but it would be nearly impossible to tell if it was real in a life or death situation.
"I can see where a criminal who can't buy a real gun would pick one up and think he can use a scare tactic but the crime rate as it has been going in Rockford, people are getting sick of it and they aren't willing to take it anymore,” said Kenny Polhamus, owner of Kapguns.

You might say why have a fake gun at all? But, some of them, especially airsoft guns, are used in movies, they’re used like paintball guns, and they're used in historical re-enactments, so they do have some legitimate purposes.

As for whether or not you need a FOID card for pellet guns, you only have to have a FOID card if the gun fires at 700 feet per second or faster, and cheaper pellet guns, don't.

Our thanks goes out to David for joining us on the Pulse. Do you have an idea for a story? Share it with us on Facebook at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. every weekday for the Pulse. To become our fan on Facebook or to catch up with all of our reporters, just visit

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