BB, Pellet, Air Gun Ordinance on Agenda in Odessa

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - For Frank Gonzales of Gonzales Health and Rehab in Odessa, vandals with BB, pellet and air guns have left their fair share of scars on his business.

"They've knocked out our windows, three windows since the beginning of the year," he said. "Windows that they shot out of my office were roughly about $1,000 a piece. They need to catch whoever's doing it."

The string of vandalism's have also forced him to invest in a $5,000 security system.

In response to this, Odessa Police proposed an ordinance that the City Council will vote on Tuesday night.

Under it, anyone transporting or holding a BB or pellet gun out and about between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. commits a misdemeanor.

That idea has locals like Rhonda O'Neal, who sells those guns at Big Tex Pawn Shop in Odessa, up in arms.

"An ordinance to stop BB guns from being carried at 9 o'clock at night is not going to keep somebody from picking up a rock and throwing it through their windshield," she said. "More rules, more legislation is not the issue. It's enforce what's out there."

O'Neal argues that vandals will still be there with the ordinance and that the best thing to do would be stepping up the curfew and patrols now.

"If I, as an adult, want to sit out in my front yard with a BB gun at 10 o'clock at night, I feel like I have a right as an American to do that," she said. "That's not going to solve the problem that we're facing which is children out prowling around at night when they're not supposed to be."

Gonzales said while the ordinance is a good step, enough enforcement must come with it.

"Unless they just start pulling people over and checking their vehicles for BB guns, how effective it's going to be, that's kind of hard to tell," he said.