Non-Powder Guns in California

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

California prohibits any person from:

  • Selling a BB device to a person under age 18.1
  • Furnishing a BB device to a person under age 18 without the permission of the minor’s parent or legal guardian.2
  • Possessing any “instrument that expels a metallic projectile such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO[2] pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun,” on the grounds of or within any public or private school providing instruction in grades K-12, without the written permission of the school principal.3
  • Drawing or exhibiting an imitation firearm in a threatening manner in such a way that a reasonable person would fear bodily harm, except in self-defense.4 An “imitation firearm” is any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm that a reasonable person would perceive that the device is a firearm.5
  • Openly displaying or exposing any imitation firearm in a “public place.”6
  • Knowingly possessing an imitation firearm or any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO[2 ]pressure, or spring action, within the sterile area of a public transit facility, if the sterile area is posted with a statement providing reasonable notice of the prohibition.7
  • Carrying or possessing an instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO[2] pressure, or spring action, in the State Capitol, any legislative office, any office of the Governor or other constitutional officer, or any hearing room in which any committee of the Senate or Assembly is conducting a hearing, or upon the grounds of the State Capitol, which is bounded by 10th, L, 15th, and N Streets in the City of Sacramento, as long as the area is posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from doing so.8

California also prohibits purchasing, selling, manufacturing, shipping, transporting, distributing, or receiving an imitation firearm9 for commercial purposes unless the imitation firearm is one of the following:

  • A non-firing collector’s replica that is historically significant and offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case;
  • A BB device;10
  • A device where the entire surface is certain bright colors, or which is entirely transparent so that the contents are completely visible; or
  • Starting January 1, 2016, a spot marker gun which expels a projectile that is greater than 10mm caliber.11

This prohibition does not prevent the manufacture, purchase, sale, shipping, transport, distribution, or receipt, by mail or in any other manner, of imitation firearms:

  • Solely for export in interstate or foreign commerce;
  • Solely for lawful use in theatrical productions, including motion picture, television, and stage productions;
  • For use in a certified or regulated sporting event or competition;
  • For use in military or civil defense activities, or ceremonial activities; or
  • For public displays authorized by public or private schools.12

California law also prohibits changing, altering, removing, or obliterating of any coloration or markings required for any imitation firearm or device as described above in any way that makes the imitation firearm or device look more like a firearm.13

California requires any imitation firearm manufactured after July 1, 2005 to have, at the time of offer for sale in California, a conspicuous advisory in writing as part of the packaging, stating that: 1) the product may be mistaken for a real firearm by law enforcement officers or others; 2) altering the coloration or markings required by law to make the product look more like an actual firearm is dangerous and possibly illegal; and 3) brandishing or displaying the imitation firearm in public may cause confusion and be a crime.14

Notes
  1. Cal. Penal Code § 19910. California defines a “BB device” as any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun. Starting January 1, 2016, the 6mm restriction will be removed and “not exceeding 6mm caliber” will be deleted from the definition. Cal. Penal Code § 16250. ⤴︎
  2. Cal. Penal Code § 19915. ⤴︎
  3. Cal. Penal Code § 626.10(a)(1), (f). ⤴︎
  4. Cal. Penal Code § 417.4. ⤴︎
  5. Cal. Penal Code § 16700(a). ⤴︎
  6. “Public place” means any area open to the public and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways, front yards, parking lots, automobiles (whether moving or not), buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink or provide entertainment, the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings, and public schools and public or private colleges and universities. Cal. Penal Code § 20170-20180. This prohibition does not apply in various circumstances, including to an imitation firearm whose entire surface is certain bright colors, or which is entirely transparent so that the contents are completely visible. Cal. Penal Code § 20175. More specifically, this prohibition does not apply to an imitation firearm whose entire surface is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or which is entirely constructed of transparent or translucent materials that permit unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents. Cal. Penal Code § 20175(m). ⤴︎
  7. Cal. Penal Code § 171.7(b)(3). “Sterile area” means any portion of a public transit facility that is generally controlled in a manner consistent with the public transit authority’s security plan. Cal. Penal Code § 171.7(a)(2). ⤴︎
  8. Cal. Penal Code § 171c(a)(1). ⤴︎
  9. An “imitation firearm” is any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm that a reasonable person would perceive that the device is a firearm. Cal. Penal Code § 16700(a). ⤴︎
  10. Pursuant to a California law passed in 2014, starting on January 1, 2016, a BB device that is 6mm or 8mm caliber will only be exempt if, when configured as a handgun, it has a trigger guard with fluorescent coloration over the entire guard and a fluorescent adhesive band around the pistol grip, or, when configured as a long gun, has a fluorescent trigger guard and a fluorescent adhesive band around the circumference of any two of the following: 1) the pistol grip, 2) the buttstock, or 3) a protruding ammunition magazine or clip; all of these requirements are in addition to the blaze orange ring on the barrel required by federal law. This new law is designed to prevent situations where law enforcement officers may confuse BB or Airsoft guns with real firearms. ⤴︎
  11. Cal. Penal Code §§ 16700(b), 20165. ⤴︎
  12. Cal. Penal Code § 20165(b). ⤴︎
  13. Cal. Penal Code § 20150(a). This provision does not apply to any manufacturer, importer, or distributor of imitation firearms, or to their lawful use in theatrical productions. Cal. Penal Code § 20150(b), (c). ⤴︎
  14. Cal. Penal Code § 20160(a). Any manufacturer, importer, or distributor that fails to comply with this requirement is liable for maximum civil fines of $1,000 for the first violation, $5,000 for the section violation, and $10,000 for the third and subsequent violations. Cal. Penal Code § 20160(b). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Colorado

Colorado authorizes expulsion from public school for any student possessing, without proper authorization, a pellet or BB gun, whether operational or not, designed to propel projectiles by spring action or compressed air.1

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 22-33-106(1)(d). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Connecticut

Connecticut generally prohibits any person from carrying a “BB gun.”1 Connecticut also generally bans the knowing possession of a BB gun in a vehicle.2

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206(a). An exception exists for possession on the person’s own property or on the property of another with authorization from that person or party. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53-206(b)(6). ⤴︎
  2. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38(a). This prohibition does not apply if the BB gun is unloaded and stored in the trunk of such vehicle or in a locked container other than the glove compartment or console. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 29-38(b). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Delaware

Delaware prohibits the possession, sale or control of any weapon that, by compressed air, discharges or projects a pellet, slug or bullet, except a B.B. or air gun that is not capable of discharging or projecting a pellet or slug larger than a B.B. shot.1 Furthermore, the state prohibits transferring in any manner a B.B. or air gun or B.B. shot to a child under age 16, unless the transferor is the child’s parent or guardian or someone with the permission of the child’s parent or guardian.2 The state also prohibits allowing a child under age 16 to possess a B.B. or air gun unless under the direct supervision of an adult.3

No person may possess a B.B. gun in a state-designated “Safe School and Recreation Zone.”4

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1445(1)(a). ⤴︎
  2. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1445(2). ⤴︎
  3. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1445(3). ⤴︎
  4. Del. Code Ann. tit. 11, § 1457(a), (b), (i). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Florida

Florida law requires any minor under the age of 16 who is using a BB gun, air or gas-operated gun, or electric weapon or device, for any purpose whatsoever, to be under the supervision and in the presence of an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent.1 Florida law also penalizes any adult responsible for the welfare of any child under the age of 16 years who knowingly permits such child to use or have in his or her possession any BB gun, air or gas-operated gun, or electric weapon or device, except under the supervision and in the presence of an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent.2

Florida law does not explicitly regulate possession of non-powder guns on school grounds.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Fla. Stat. § 790.22(1). ⤴︎
  2. Fla. Stat. § 790.22(2). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Georgia

Georgia law makes it unlawful for any person to use or possess in any park, historic site, or recreational area air rifles or other device which discharges projectiles by any means, unless the device is unloaded and stored so as not to be readily accessible or unless such use has been approved within restricted areas by prior written permission of the commissioner of natural resources or his or her authorized representative.1

Georgia has no other laws regulating non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Ga. Code Ann. § 12-3-10(o)(4). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Hawaii

Hawaii prohibits any person, including licensed manufacturers, licensed importers, and licensed dealers, from possessing, selling, gifting, or delivering electric guns.1 “Electric gun” is defined under state law to mean “any portable device that is electrically operated to project a missile or electromotive force.”2 The following persons are not prohibited from carrying electric guns:

  • Law enforcement officers;
  • Conservation and resource management officers;
  • Members of the Army or Air National Guard; or
  • Vendors to any of these listed individuals, provided certain conditions are met.3

Electric guns possessed in violation of the law shall be confiscated.4

Hawaii law does not prohibit other types of non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue

Notes
  1. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-16(a). ⤴︎
  2. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-1. Electric livestock prods used in animal husbandry and any automatic external defibrillator used in emergency medical situations are specifically excluded from the definition of “electric gun.” ⤴︎
  3. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-16(c). ⤴︎
  4. Haw. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 134-16(b). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Illinois

Illinois treats certain non-powder guns as firearms, defining high-power and/or large caliber non-powder guns as firearms and thus making all purchase, possession and transfer requirements under state law applicable to these guns. Illinois excludes from the definition of firearms any pneumatic gun, spring gun, paint ball gun, or B-B gun which expels a single globular projectile not exceeding .18 inch in diameter or which has a maximum muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second or which expels breakable paint balls containing washable marking colors.1

Illinois law defines “air rifle” to mean an air gun, air pistol, spring gun, spring pistol, BB gun, paint ball gun, pellet gun, or any implement that is not a firearm which impels a breakable paint ball containing washable marking colors or, a pellet constructed of hard plastic, steel, lead, or other hard materials with  force that reasonably is expected to cause bodily harm.2 Illinois prohibits anyone from selling or otherwise transferring air rifles to anyone under the age of 13, where the seller knows or has cause to believe that the person is under 13 years of age or where the seller failed to make reasonable inquiry into the age of the person.3 This does not apply to transfers taking place between parent and child, teacher and pupil, or guardian and ward.4 Nor do these provisions apply to sales: 1) by wholesale dealers or jobbers; 2) to be shipped out of the state; or 3) to be used at a target range operated in accordance with state law or by members of the Armed Services of the United States or Veterans’ organizations.5

In Illinois it is illegal for any person to discharge any air rifle from or across any street, sidewalk, road, highway, or public land or public place except on a safely constructed target range.6 It is also illegal for a person under 13 years of age to carry any air rifle on public streets or lands unless the person carries the air rifle unloaded.7 A person under 13 is allowed to possess an air rifle if it is:

  • Kept within his or her house of residence or other private enclosure;
  • Used by a person who is a duly enrolled member of any club or team which maintains as part of its facilities or has written permission to use an indoor or outdoor rifle range under the supervision of a responsible adult; or
  • Used on private grounds under circumstances so that, when it is fired, it will not endanger persons or property.8

The above regulations do not invalidate any ordinances enacted by a local municipality within the state which imposes greater restrictions or limitations with respect to the sale, purchase, use, or possession of air rifles.9

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 430 Ill. Comp. Stat. 65/1.1. ⤴︎
  2. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-0.1. ⤴︎
  3. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-1. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-4. ⤴︎
  6. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-2 ⤴︎
  7. Id. ⤴︎
  8. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-3. ⤴︎
  9. 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/24.8-6. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Maine

Maine law prohibits knowingly selling, furnishing, giving, or offering to sell, furnish or give, an air rifle to a child under 16 years of age.1

Maine has no other law restricting non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Me. Stat., 17-A § 554(1)(B). A defense exists if the defendant was the parent, foster parent, guardian or an adult approved by the parent, foster parent or guardian who furnished the child under 16 years of age an air rifle for use in a supervised manner. Me. Stat., 17-A § 554(2)(C). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Massachusetts

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Massachusetts law prohibits anyone from furnishing an air rifle or BB gun to a person under age 18, except the minor’s parent, guardian or adult teacher or instructor. In addition, any person, including a parent, guardian or adult teacher or instructor, is prohibited from selling an air rifle or BB gun to a person under age 18.1 Massachusetts law also prohibits any person under age 18 from having an air rifle or BB gun in his or her possession while in any place to which the public has a right of access unless:

  • He or she is accompanied by an adult; or
  • He or she is the holder of a sporting or hunting license and has on his or her person a permit from the chief of police of the town in which he resides granting him or her the right of such possession.2


Notes
  1. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 12A. ⤴︎
  2. Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 269, § 12B. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Michigan

 

Michigan amended its definition of “firearm” in 2015 to exclude high-power and/or large caliber non-powder guns from most firearm regulations.  The current definition only includes a weapon “which will, is designed to, or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of an explosive.”1  That law also added a definition for “pneumatic guns” to include “any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB or pellet by spring, gas, or air.”2

These redefinitions also removed numerous state level restrictions previously applicable to non-powder guns, including a law that had previously prohibited minors under age 18 from using or possessing certain non-powder BB guns outside the curtilage of his or her domicile, unless accompanied by an adult over age 18.3

However, local units of government retain authority to pass laws:

  • Prohibiting or regulating conduct with a pistol, other firearm, or pneumatic gun that is a criminal offense under state law;
  • Prohibiting or regulating the transportation, carrying, or possession of pistols, other firearms, or pneumatic guns by employees of that local unit of government in the course of their employment with that local unit of government;
  • Regulating the possession of pneumatic guns within the local unit of government by requiring that an individual below the age of 16 who is in possession of a pneumatic gun be under the supervision of a parent, a guardian, or an individual 18 years of age or older, except that an ordinance shall not regulate possession of a pneumatic gun on or within private property if the individual below the age of 16 is authorized by a parent or guardian and the property owner or legal possessor to possess the pneumatic gun; and
  • Prohibiting an individual from pointing, waving about, or displaying a pneumatic gun in a threatening manner with the intent to induce fear in another individual.4

Additionally, cities and charter townships retain authority to pass laws:

  • Prohibiting the discharge of a pistol or other firearm within the jurisdiction of that city or charter township; and
  • Prohibiting the discharge of pneumatic guns in any area within the jurisdiction of the city or charter township that is so heavily populated as to make that conduct dangerous to the inhabitants of that area, except that an ordinance shall not prohibit the discharge of pneumatic guns at authorized target ranges, on other property where firearms may be discharged, or on or within private property with the permission of the owner or possessor of that property if conducted with reasonable care to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property.5

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See 2015 Mich. H.B. 4161, Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 750.222(e), 123.1101(a). ⤴︎
  2. Id., Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. §§ 750.222(g), 123.1101(d). Pneumatic gun includes a paintball gun that expels by pneumatic pressure plastic balls filled with paint for the purpose of marking the point of impact. Id. ⤴︎
  3. See 2015 Mich. H.B. 4151, repealing Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 752.891-892. ⤴︎
  4. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 123.1103. ⤴︎
  5. Mich. Comp. Laws Serv. § 123.1104. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Minnesota

Minnesota prohibits the carrying of a BB gun in a public place.1 Minnesota also prohibits the display, exhibition, brandishing or other use of a BB gun in a threatening manner, if while doing so, the possessor:

• Causes or attempts to cause “terror” in another person; or

• Acts in reckless disregard of the risk of causing terror in another person.2

Outside of a municipality, Minnesota prohibits furnishing an airgun to a child under age 14 without the consent of the child’s parent or guardian. The state also prohibits, outside of a municipality, any parent or guardian from permitting his or her child under age 14 to handle or use an airgun outside of the parent’s or guardian’s presence.3

Within a municipality, Minnesota prohibits any person from furnishing a minor (under age 18) with an airgun without the prior consent of the minor’s parent or guardian or the municipality’s police department.4

Minnesota also prohibits the use, brandishing, possession, storage or keeping of a BB gun while knowingly on school property.5

The aforementioned prohibitions are subject to several exceptions, including possession of BB guns by a ceremonial color guard or with the written permission of the principal or other person having general control and supervision of the school or the director of a child care center.6

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Minn. Stat. § 624.7181, subd. 1, subd. 2. This prohibition is subject to the following exceptions:
    • The BB gun is being carried to, from, or at a place where firearms are repaired, bought, sold, traded, or displayed, or where hunting, target shooting, or other lawful activity involving firearms occurs, or at funerals, parades, or other lawful ceremonies;
    • The BB gun is unloaded and in a gun case expressly made for a firearm and which fully encloses the firearm with no portion of the gun exposed;
    • The person has a permit to carry a handgun;
    • The BB gun is an antique firearm that is being carried as a curiosity or for its historical significance or value; or
    • The BB gun is being transported unloaded and in the closed trunk of a motor vehicle.
    Minn. Stat. § 624.7181, subd. 1. ⤴︎
  2. Minn. Stat. § 609.713, subd. 3(a). ⤴︎
  3. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1(a)(6). ⤴︎
  4. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1b. ⤴︎
  5. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1d(b), (c). ⤴︎
  6. Minn. Stat. § 609.66, subd. 1d(f)(6), (8). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Mississippi

Mississippi prohibits anyone from possessing or carrying, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, or air pistol on educational property.1 Similarly, Mississippi prohibits anyone from causing, encouraging or aiding a minor who is less than 18 years old to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, or air pistol on educational property.2

Mississippi does not otherwise regulate non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Miss. Code Ann. §97-37-17(4). “Educational property” is defined is defined under Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-17(1)(a) as any public or private school building or bus, public or private school campus, grounds, recreational area, athletic field, or other property owned, used or operated by any local school board, school, college or university board of trustees, or directors for the administration of any public or private educational institution or during a school-related activity, and shall include the facility and property of the Oakley Youth Development Center, operated by the Department of Human Services; provided, however, that the term “educational property” shall not include any sixteenth section school land or lieu land on which is not located a school building, school campus, recreational area or athletic field. ⤴︎
  2. Miss. Code Ann. §97-37-17(5). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Missouri

Missouri prohibits any person from knowingly possessing on his or her person a “projectile weapon” when such weapon is readily capable of lethal use, he or she is intoxicated, and the person handles or otherwise uses the projectile weapon in either a negligent or unlawful manner.1 A “projectile weapon” is defined to include a pellet gun or other weapon that is not a firearm but is capable of expelling a projectile that could inflict serious physical injury or death by striking or piercing a person.2

In 2011, Missouri enacted a law authorizing a municipality to regulate the shooting of pneumatic guns within its boundaries when the municipality is, in the opinion of the governing body, so heavily populated that such conduct is dangerous to the inhabitants thereof. The municipality may require supervision by a parent, guardian, or other adult supervisor who is approved by a parent or guardian, of any minor below age 12 in all uses of pneumatic guns on public property.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.030.1(5). ⤴︎
  2. Mo. Rev. Stat. § 571.010(15). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Nevada

Nevada prohibits any individual from carrying or possessing a pneumatic gun while on the property of the Nevada System of Higher Education, a private or public school or child care facility, or while in a vehicle of a private or public school or child care facility.1 Nevada defines a “pneumatic gun” as “any implement designed as a gun that may expel a ball bearing or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure. The term includes, without limitation, a paintball gun that expels plastic balls filled with paint for the purpose of marking the point of impact.”2

Nevada has no other laws regulating non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.265(1)(e). ⤴︎
  2. Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 202.265(5)(c). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in New Hampshire

Any student in New Hampshire who possesses a pellet or BB gun, rifle, or paint ball gun in a safe school zone (any school property or school bus) may be expelled by the local school board. The student may not attend school until restored by the local board.1 New Hampshire does not otherwise regulate non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 193:13(II). New Hampshire law defines “safe school zone” to include any school property or school bus. N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § RSA 193-D:1(II). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in New Jersey

New Jersey defines all non-powder guns as firearms, subjecting these guns to all regulations and restrictions applicable to firearms.1 To obtain a BB or pellet handgun, a person must obtain a permit to purchase a handgun.

The state prohibits the knowing possession of a handgun in any place other than one’s own property or place of business without a permit to carry if the handgun is an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other similar weapon in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejects a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.2

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:39-1f defines firearm to include “without limitation, any…air gun…or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter, with sufficient force to injure a person.” ⤴︎
  2. N.J. Stat. Ann. §§ 2C:39-5b, 2C:39-6e. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in New York

New York law prohibits any person under the age of sixteen from possessing any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring or air.1 New York has no other law governing non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.Y. Penal Law § 265.05. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in North Carolina

In certain counties in North Carolina, identified by State statute, it is unlawful for any parent or guardian to knowingly permit his child under the age of 12 years to use, possess, or have custody of an air rifle, air pistol, or BB gun.1 Additionally, North Carolina prohibits any person from causing, encouraging, or aiding a minor who is less than 18 years old to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, stun gun, air rifle, or air pistol.2 North Carolina has no other law regulating non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-316. ⤴︎
  2. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 14-269.2(e). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in North Dakota

North Dakota defines “dangerous weapon,” to include “any weapon that will expel, or is readily capable of expelling, a projectile by the action of a spring, compressed air, or compressed gas including any such weapon, loaded or unloaded, commonly referred to as a BB gun, air rifle, or CO[2] gun.1 Thus, except where otherwise specified, any law in the Criminal or Weapons sections of the North Dakota Century Code that refers to dangerous weapons is applicable to non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. N.D. Cent. Code §§ 62.1-01-01, 12.1-01-04. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Pennsylvania

With certain exceptions, Pennsylvania law prohibits:

  • Any person from selling, lending, giving, or otherwise transferring any air rifle to any person under age 18, except where the relationship of parent and child, guardian and ward or adult instructor and pupil exists between such person and the person under age 18.1
  • Any dealer from selling, lending, renting, giving, or otherwise transferring an air rifle to any person under age 18, where the dealer knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, the person to be under age 18, or where such dealer has failed to make reasonable inquiry relative to the age of such person, and such person is under age 18.2
  • Any person under age 18 from carrying any air rifle on the highways or public lands unless accompanied by an adult, except that a person under age 18 may carry such rifle unloaded in a suitable case or securely wrapped.3
  • Any person from discharging any air rifle from or across any highway or public land or any public place, except on a properly constructed target range.4

These provisions do not affect the validity of any ordinance enacted by any political subdivision which imposes greater restrictions or limitations in respect to the sale and purchase, use or possession of air rifles.5

“Air rifle” is defined as “[a]ny air gun, air pistol, spring gun, spring pistol, B-B gun, or any implement that is not a firearm, which impels a pellet of any kind with a force that can reasonably be expected to cause bodily harm. The term does not include a paintball gun or paintball marker.”6

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(a)(2). ⤴︎
  2. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(a)(1). ⤴︎
  3. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(b)(1). ⤴︎
  4. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(b)(2). ⤴︎
  5. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(e). ⤴︎
  6. 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 6304(g). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Rhode Island

Rhode Island defines all non-powder guns as firearms, ensuring that felons and other persons prohibited from possessing firearms are similarly barred from possessing dangerous non-powder guns.1

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-47-2(3). Several of the provisions under the state’s weapons code do not apply to non-powder guns, including R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 11-47-5.1 (larceny of a firearm), 11-47-30 (sales/transfers of firearms to minors), 11-47-31 (sales/transfers of ammunition to minors), 11-47-35.2 (sales of rifles and shotguns) and 11-47-40 (keeping a register of sales of firearms and displaying concealable firearms for sale). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in South Carolina

South Carolina prohibits any person from possessing an air gun at any park or facility under the jurisdiction of the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.1 Persons using areas specifically designated by the Department for the use of air guns, and concealable weapons permit holders, are exempt from the prohibition.2

South Carolina has no other laws regulating non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. S.C. Code Ann. § 51-3-145(G). ⤴︎
  2. Id. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in the District of Columbia

(This section was last updated September 20, 2010.)

The District of Columbia generally prohibits the possession or carrying outside any building of an air rifle, air gun, air pistol, B-B gun or any similar type gun.1 A person may use an air rifle, air gun, air pistol or B-B gun if such use is supervised by a person age 18 or older, for:

  • A theatrical performance or athletic contest;
  • Use at a licensed shooting gallery; or
  • Use at other locations where the use of such guns is authorized by the Chief of Police.2

Persons age 18 or older may transport an air rifle, air gun, air pistol or B-B gun within the District if unloaded and securely wrapped.3

The District also prohibits the sale or other transfer to any person under age 18 of an air rifle, air gun, air pistol, B-B gun or a similar type of gun, or ammunition for such weapons.4 These transfers are lawful if supervised by a person age 18 or older for:

  • A theatrical performance or athletic contest;
  • Use at a licensed shooting gallery; or
  • Transfer at other locations where the use of the item is authorized by the Chief.5

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2301.3. ⤴︎
  2. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2301.5. ⤴︎
  3. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2301.4. ⤴︎
  4. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2302.1. ⤴︎
  5. D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 24, § 2302.3. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Vermont

Vermont has no law restricting non-powder guns.  The state’s 2015 law prohibiting a person who has been convicted of a violent crime from possessing a firearm1 also does not apply to possession of non-powder guns.2

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. See 2015 VT S.B. 141, enacting Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017. ⤴︎
  2. Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 4017(d)(1). For the purposes of this prohibition, “firearm” is defined to only include (i) a weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Virginia

Virginia law explicitly authorizes a locality to:

  • Restrict the shooting and use of pneumatic guns in any areas of the locality that are in the opinion of the governing body so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants;
  • Require supervision by a parent, guardian, or other adult supervisor approved by a parent or guardian of any minor below the age of 16 in all uses of pneumatic guns on private or public property;
  • Specify that minors above the age of 16 may, with the written consent of a parent or guardian, use a pneumatic gun at any place designated for such use by the local governing body or on private property with the consent of the owner; and
  • Specify that any minor, whether permitted by a parent or guardian to use a pneumatic gun or not, shall be responsible for obeying all laws, regulations and restrictions governing such use.1

However, no such ordinance may prohibit the use of pneumatic guns:

  • At facilities approved for shooting ranges;
  • On other property where firearms may be discharged; or
  • On or within private property with permission of the owner or legal possessor thereof when conducted with reasonable care to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property.2

Virginia law requires the training of minors in the use of pneumatic guns be done only under direct supervision of a parent, guardian, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor, or a certified instructor.3 Training of minors above the age of 16 may also be done without direct supervision if approved by the minor’s instructor, with the permission of and under the responsibility of a parent or guardian.4

“Pneumatic gun” means any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure.5

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(A). ⤴︎
  2. Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(B). ⤴︎
  3. Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(C). Ranges and instructors may be certified by the National Rifle Association, a state or federal agency that has developed a certification program, any service of the Department of Defense, or any person authorized by these authorities to certify ranges and instructors. Id. ⤴︎
  4. Id. ⤴︎
  5. Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(E). Virginia law also requires a school board to expel from school attendance for at least one year any student whom such school board has determined to have possessed a pneumatic gun as defined in subsection E of § 15.2-915.4 on school property or at a school-sponsored activity. Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-277.07. ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Washington

Washington prohibits any person from willfully discharging any air gun or other weapon in a public place, or in any place where any person might be endangered.1

Washington also prohibits any person from carrying or possessing any air gun, including any air pistol or air rifle, designed to propel a BB, pellet, or other projectile by the discharge of compressed air, carbon dioxide, or other gas, on public or private elementary or secondary school premises, school-provided transportation, or areas of facilities while being used exclusively by public or private schools.2

Washington does not otherwise regulate non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.230(1)(b). ⤴︎
  2. Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.41.280(1)(e). ⤴︎

Non-Powder Guns in Wisconsin

Wisconsin generally prohibits the knowing possession of, or going armed with, a BB or pellet-firing gun on school premises.1

Wisconsin has no other law restricting non-powder guns.

See our Non-Powder Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. Wis. Stat. § 948.61(1)(a), (2). A school is defined as a public, parochial or private school for students in grades 1 through 12, and school premises include any school building, grounds, recreation area or athletic field or any property owned, used or operated for school administration. Wis. Stat. § 948.61(1)(b), (c). For exceptions, see Wis. Stat. § 948.61(3). ⤴︎