While there is no excuse to carry a gun, people say they carry it for different reasons:
- peer pressure
- to gain respect, power or control
Not all people who carry guns intend to use them. But if you're carrying a gun and get into an argument, the situation is more likely to get out of hand and you are more likely to use it.
So whether you intended to use it or not, you could end up in a lot of trouble and the consequences may be fatal.
Some people who carry guns don't realise what they're getting themselves into:
- Imitation guns, including ball bearing ones, are illegal and can seriously injure or scare people as much as a real gun. If caught you could still go to prison for carrying one in a public place.
- Situations involving weapons can quickly get out of control.
- Even if the gun that you or someone you know is carrying isn't real, other people including the police won't necessarily know that. It could increase the risk of you being attacked, threatened or even worse.
- Police have the power to stop and search you if they believe you are carrying a weapon. Lots of places now make use of screening technology that can detect if you are carrying a weapon. If you are found to be carrying a knife or gun you will be arrested and prosecuted. Find out more about ‘stop and search’ .
Gun crime can affect anyone, not just people in gangs:
- Innocent bystanders can get caught in the middle of other people's disputes and suffer trauma, serious injuries or worse.
- There is no ‘safe place’ to shoot someone. A wound in the arm or the leg can still be life threatening. There have been cases where young people have died from wounds to the leg because their artery was severed.
- An injury might look small, but any internal damage can kill.