Fans of nerf guns say they encourage children to turn off their screens and play with friends but could these games lead to real-life violence?
Some say toy guns are harmless fun for children, while others have dubbed them a negative influence that could translate into real-life violence.
Todd Olsen, owner of The Battlefield nerf gun centre in Texas, said he welcomes hundreds of children every weekend for lively play sessions.
“You can hardly talk to these kids when they come in because they’re so amped. They come in and they see all the guns and the equipment and it’s like they’ve been on Red Bull for a week,” he told NBC Left Field.
Jay Mechling, from the Association for the Study of Play, said playing with guns is not dangerous and can even be helpful for children’s psychological development.
But some studies have linked the toys to violence.
“There have been studies conducted in the lab, kids who are randomly assigned to play with toy guns are more likely to engage in aggressive acts,” said psychology professor Michelle Marel.
So, should children be allowed to play with guns? NBC Left Field investigates.
Watch the NBC Left Field video in the player above.