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7-year-old Nabbed on Felony BB Gun Charges

Posted by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:35 AM
  • 55 Replies

Sam Grant nearly celebrated his eighth birthday party in jail.

The North Carolina boy had been charged with two felony counts of discharging his BB gun.

The parents of a then-seven-year-old North Carolina boy are beyond angry after their son was charged with two felony counts of possessing a BB gun. Just moments before the child was expected to answer to the allegations before a Catawba County judge — the charges were dropped.



Sam’s parents, Ray and Cherry Robbins told Fox News they are both relieved and angry over what happened to their son.

“They considered his BB gun a firearm,” Ray said. “”It’s not a firearm. It’s a BB gun.”

The trouble started last month when Sam was in the backyard of their rural home shooting his BB gun. His mother stepped inside to put dinner in the oven – telling the boy not to run off.

But Sam’s curiosity got the best of him — and he scampered out of the backyard – and fired his BB gun at an abandoned house across the street. In doing so, he accidentally hit a passing car.

Cherry immediately call the sheriff’s department and offered to pay for the damage to the car. The deputy sheriff took a report but said he wasn’t going to press charges and neither was the driver.

Instead, Sam’s parents took responsibility, paid for the damages and administered parental justice.

Sam got punished. They took away his BB gun and made him do community service at their local church.

“We wanted to teach him responsibility so he’s been cleaning up around the church and polishing pews to repay the $350 it cost to repair the car,” Robbins told Fox News.

But their world got rocked when the received a letter from the Department of Juvenile Justice summoning the family to court.

“They told us that they considered it to be a violent felony — discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle,” Robbins said. “It was crazy. We completely disagreed with the charges.”

Their son – was now facing the prospect of a year on probation, hundreds of hours of community service and a criminal record.

“We couldn’t imagine Sam standing in front of the court — as a judge read him the charges,” he said. “How is he supposed to understand that? He’s eight years old.”

The day before his court appearance, Sam celebrated his birthday — but there wasn’t much to celebrate.

“That night he was shaking – he was so cared he was shaking,” Robbins said. “He didn’t know what going to court meant but he knew that it was serious.”

The following day, they showed up for Sam’s hearing. But their court-appointed lawyer ushered the family into a room and told them the charges had been dropped.

“I really feel like it was a political thing,” he said. “It’s election season in our county and they didn’t have anything better to do than charge an eight-year-old boy. They got the anti-gun people revved up.”

Robbins said his son is a good boy who made a bad mistake.

“My wife and I were just completely torn up over the whole thing,” he said. “My son — he didn’t understand the severity of the charge but he understood the severity of what he did.”

And he was especially angry at local officials.

“It was infuriating what they wanted to do to that child,” he said. “This whole gun control thing is just nuts. For them to use a minor child — to prove a point and make an example — for certain groups — is just crazy.”

Life around the Robbins house is slowly returning to normal — but it’s going to be quite some time before Sam gets to shoot his BB gun.

“He’s got to earn that privilege,” Robbins told Fox News.

In the meantime — father and son are spending the weekend fishing.


by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:35 AM
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by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:40 AM
3 moms liked this

A bb gun is a firearm and he shot at someone with it.  It could easily have shattered a window and caused a serious accident.   If his parents couldn't be bothered to actually supervise him, then shouldn't be giving him a dangerous weapon in the first place.   If some kid shot at me with a bb gun, I'd press charges.   I think he got off lucky.     Just go to google news and type in bb gun, and you'll see how dangerous they are.

by Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:45 AM

 Hate to say it but in a society that suspends kids for eating poptarts into gun shapes, pointing fingers and saying bang like it was a gun, and using a hello kitty bubble gun and shooting it others in play  isnt this the next logical step in criminalizing normal kid behavior?  Not saying what this little boy did wasn't wrong, it could have resulted in somone getting really hurt, what if the drivers window was down and he got hit with the bb.  But kids will be kids, heck look at Andy Griffith for example.. Opie was a pretty good kid right,  but there was an episode where he had a sling shot, knew he wasnt supposed to shoot at living things etc, but he kiled a momma bird, when he disobeyed the rules of how to play with it..  And in a time where lot of parents dont disipline or try to teach their kids to be responisble for their behavior, sounds like these parents took what their son did as a teaching opportunity and made him learn there are consequences for things and teach him to be responsible for what you do.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:50 AM
3 moms liked this
BB guns can be dangerous. I blame the parents for not supervising him. He damaged a car, he could've easily hurt someone. They're the ones who should've been charged, not the boy.
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by Platinum Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 9:52 AM

Hm, I wonder if this mean I can sue my older brother for the bb gun scar I have on my hip from him shooting me? All my brother got was a spanking and I think he had to pull weeds for a month. 

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:05 AM
2 moms liked this
“We couldn’t imagine Sam standing in front of the court —as a judge read him the charges,” he said. “How is he supposed to understand that? He’s eight years old.”

Excellent point. He is obviously too young and too immature to be unsupervised with anything that fires projectiles. His parents should have been the ones charged.

The article calls it a bb gun, but pellet guns (which many people call bb guns) can cause property damage and kill small animals. A plastic bb gun would not cause hundreds of dollars in damages to a passing metal vehicle. A pellet gun (often also called a bb gun) would.
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by Libertarian on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM
1 mom liked this

 He was unsupervised, *shooting at a house* and hit a car...yeah, someone should be charged with a felony there.

"Roger that. Over."

R   A   D    I    O    H    E    I    D

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:15 AM
1 mom liked this
The parents were irresponsible to let the kid have a bb/pellet gun unsupervised. I seriously doubt this is the first time he has snuck off to do something he knew he shouldn't do. The parents never should have left him alone with the gun.
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by Member on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Yea, i have to agree with people here.  BB guns are dangerous.  If you didnt think your son was going to stick around in the backyard while you put dinner in the oven than take the gun with you into the house.  Getting shot at, even with a bb gun could have scared the driver enough that the driver could have caused a serious accident, maybe veering into the boy and killing him.  I think the parents should have been punished for neglect of a child (like not having constant supervision of him), walking around with a weapon.  Even if the family had gone to a shooting range, they would have been required to have that gun unloaded unless at the stand.  

by on Apr. 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM
Hell, I have referred to a .22 as a bb gun. In a sarcastic manner, of course. But it is certainly a possibility that parents outraged their kid (who was in possession of a gun potent enough to damage a car) was charged with a crime he commited would call a pellet gun (which many people use to hunt small animals) a bb gun in order to make someone else the bad guy. If their kid was injured (I mean more than just a little bruise) by another kid with a pellet gun, and the other kid was charged, I doubt these parents would be outraged over the charges.
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