Young boy orders dangerous airsoft gun from AmazonPosted: Updated:
A mother said her son was able to buy a pellet gun online and wanted a major online retailer to change its policies.
Lisa Brown, of Lebanon, said she received quite a shock when an airsoft gun was delivered to her front doorstep addressed to her 12-year-old son.
"It makes you feel not safe," Brown said.
Brown said she gave her son John permission to order a cell phone case off of Amazon.com using a gift card. She said the boy perused the website on his smartphone when something else caught his eye.
It was a Double Eagle brand M22 Spring Pistol Airsoft gun.
For just $10, Brown said her son was able to purchase the gun instead.
"I was very upset knowing that my 12-year-old son was able to buy a gun online," she said.
She said John learned his lesson that guns of any kind were not allowed in their home.
The type of airsoft gun was classified as a dangerous weapon in Connecticut and buyers must be 18 years old to purchase one.
Brown wanted to know how a 12-year-old was able to get one.
"You definitely would think that there'd be an age limit," she said.
Brown said she called Amazon and told them she wanted to gun out of her house immediately.
She said Amazon told her it came from a third party, Hot Import Toys. The website said it would arrange for them to pick it up.
Three weeks later and the pellet gun was still in her possession.
Some retailers like Sports Authority have a disclaimer on Airsoft guns and won't even ship them to Connecticut.
Eyewitness News reached out of Amazon. It said, "If you are under 18, you may use the Amazon services only with involvement of a parent or guardian."
However, with millions of users, it said age verification was difficult.
Eyewitness News also reached out of Hot Import Toys, but it never responded.
Internet safety expert Scott Driscoll recommended not giving children spending power online.
"Gift cards, you can do them from anywhere," Driscoll said. "And that's a challenge."
Driscoll said it was tough for parents to keep constant tabs on the online activity of children in an increasingly digital world. Keeping a watchful eye on what kids are doing online is essential.
"If it's going to be sent to the home or you're doing an online purchase, we do it together," Driscoll said.
Smartphones like the iPhone have parental control features that can disable online purchases.
Driscoll said parents can also block websites that might be tempting to young shoppers.
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