House: No Shooting Your Eye Out

Twenty five years ago, Peter Billingsly’s mom used the excuse “he’ll shoot his eye out” to dissuade her 9-year-old from getting a toy rifle for Christmas.

Moms across Connecticut will not be able to use the excuse from the movie “A Christmas Story” when their kids ask for paintball guns. That is, if Gov. M. Jodi Rell signs the bill the state House is sending her way. 

On Tuesday, the House of Representatives decided, 106-30, that minors who use paintball guns in Connecticut will need eye protection. The Senate signed off on the bill unanimously in April.

If Rell signs it, paintball eye fashion will be mandatory in the state starting Oct. 1. And, oh the choices that will bring: goggles, mask, anti-fogging material or not?

Then there’s the safety procedure part of the bill. If you’re under 18, commercial paintball facilities have to train you in safety procedures before letting you play.

The safety lessons are mostly to raise safety awareness and there's not a lot of teeth behind that part of the bill. Police could only issue verbal warnings to parents.

Opponents say it would be too hard to enforce on private land and that most commercial paintball arenas already have adequate safety measures in place.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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