Airsoft Laws in America – Laws for Each State

Though the laws that govern airsoft guns can change depending on where you live in the country, there are a few federal laws that apply no matter where you live. US federal law requires that each airsoft gun should be equipped with a minimum 6 mm wide blaze orange tip. This law is in place so that it’s much easier to tell the difference between a real firearm and an airsoft gun. Whether or not you can remove the orange tip is completely contingent on the state that you live in.

Those using an airsoft gun to commit a crime will be treated as someone who used an actual firearm (in a court of law). Also, you must be 18 or older to purchase an airsoft gun. It should go without saying that carrying an airsoft gun in an open area is never encouraged. If you must carry one through a public area, use a bag or case.  

You must always have the consent of an individual before pointing an airsoft gun at them. For example, teams that engage in an airsoft battle give consent by participating in an event where it’s reasonable to assume that you can be shot at any point while you’re on the field. Thus, the context of the environment and situation counts as “consent”.

Some states have airsoft laws or restrictions where an airsoft gun can be used. Thus you must seek permission from the respective municipalities. There are also airsoft laws that govern how an airsoft gun can be transported in a vehicle.

APX Disclaimer:

APX does NOT provide legal advice and contents of myapx.shop should NOT be taken as legal advice or recommendations  – let alone personal recommendations.These are relevant Airsoft-related legalities for the various U.S. States (as well as certain major cities) in order to provide general information about Airsoft laws. Although APX in good-faith made effort to ensure that this information is accurate and up to date, APX makes no claims about its completeness or correctness. If you decide to buy, carry, possess, shoot, or otherwise use an Airsoft (or other BB or air) gun, it would be in your best interest to do research pertaining to your state or countries laws. APX assumes no liability in users actions, behaviors, decisions, that user makes. 

A Further Disclaimer

Many of these sources are state legislators. One of them made the following statements, which should be assumed to apply to everything written herein, as permitted by law.

“First things first, the [various State Assemblies, Houses of Representatives, and] Senate[s are] forbidden from providing legal advice[,] so any information here is purely informative. We recommend your parent talking with a lawyer or local law enforcement office about …questions [related to Airsoft]. This is particularly true considering many municipalities have rules that go beyond state law. …I hope this information is useful to you. I want to reiterate that this is not legal advice and a lawyer and local law enforcement should be consulted to ensure you do not get into any trouble.”

Federal Law

U.S. Constitution, Second Amendment

North Dakota State Representative Gretchen Dobervich has the first word on Federal law. She reminds readers that “[t]he first law that applies to Airsoft guns is the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution. This law gives US citizens the right to legally own and use firearms. The Supreme Court long ago ruled that this includes owning and using firearms for self-defense.”[1]

Amendment II reads: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

This is true, as far as it goes. However, because Airsoft guns do not propel “ammunition” (whether BBs, bullets, missiles, shot, or other projectiles) by means of controlled explosions, they are seldom classified as “firearms” – at least, not usually at the Federal level. Thus, at this level of law, generally speaking, “…air guns are not subject to the same regulations as handguns, rifles, shotguns, and other firearms that use explosives to fire bullets.”[2]

HOWEVER: At state and local levels, things may be entirely different.

United States Code

U.S. Code, Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 921

“(3.) The term ‘firearm’ means (A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of any explosive.”

Note that “[t]his definition does not apply to items such as toy guns, cap guns, bb guns, pellet guns, and Class C common fireworks.”[3]

U.S. Code, Title 15, Chapter 76, Section, 5001

At the level of federal law, Airsoft guns are instead classified as “look-alike firearms” and are regulated by Title 15 in the U.S. Code.[4]

“[T]he term ‘look-alike firearm’ means any imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy guns, water guns, replica nonguns [sic], and air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles.[5] …

“[E]ach toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part, permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel of such firearm.”[6]

This law is intended to “apply to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms manufactured or entered into commerce after November 5, 1988.”[7]

Similar language shows up elsewhere in the Code.

Code of Federal Regulations, Title 15, Subtitle B, Chapter II, Subchapter H, Part 272, Sections 1-5

§ 272.1 Applicability. This part applies to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms (‘devices’) having the appearance, shape, and/or configuration of a firearm and produced or manufactured and entered into commerce on or after May 5, 1989, including devices modeled on real firearms manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898.

“This part does not apply to: …(b) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589-85, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns, June 28, 1985. …

§ 272.2 Prohibitions. No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (‘device’) covered by this part as set forth in § 272.1 unless such device contains, or has affixed to it, one of the markings set forth in § 272.3, or unless this prohibition has been waived by § 272.4.

§ 272.3 Approved markings. The following markings are approved by the Secretary of Commerce: (a) A blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number, solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel. (b) A blaze orange (Fed-Std-595B 12199) or orange color brighter than that specified by the Federal Standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters. (c) Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents. (d) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in 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. …

§ 272.4 Waiver. The prohibitions set forth in § 272.2 may be waived for any toy, look-alike or imitation firearm that will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry. …The request must include a sworn affidavit… . A sample of the item must be included with the request.

Comments on References in U.S Code

America’s “newspaper of record,” the vaunted New York Times, understands the above-mentioned provisions to apply to Airsoft guns. The Times wrote: “A federal law requires toy firearms and so-called ‘airsoft guns’ — low-impact weapons used by the police in training and by hobbyists in outdoor games — to have an orange tip at the end of the barrel.”[8]

The watchdog website Giffords.org likewise states that “federal law regulates the design of ‘lookalike firearms,’ which include ‘…air-soft guns…’ [and requires that e]very lookalike firearm must: (1) have a permanently affixed blaze orange plug inserted in the firearm’s barrel, (2) have a similar marking on the exterior of the barrel, (3) be constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials, or (4) be covered in certain bright colors.”[9]

However, it has been observed that 15 CFR § 272 (inter alia) “…does not apply to pellet and BB guns…”. As indicated above, Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations states: “This part does not apply to: …(b) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589-85…”.[10]

“Airsoft guns typically use a spring, electric power, or (most often) compressed air to fire spherical plastic projectiles. Air guns are generally regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, as they do not qualify for any of the exemptions for the definition of ‘consumer product’ in 15 U.S.C. 2052(a)(5). They are, therefore, only subject to federal regulation under 15 U.S.C. 2064 if they involve a ‘substantial product hazard’ or ‘a substantial risk of injury to children.’

As noted above, “Air-soft guns are subject to special regulation under 15 U.S.C. 5001, which prohibits the manufacture, sale, and importation of any toy or look-alike firearm (including air-soft guns) unless it has a ‘blaze orange plug’ or is otherwise marked in a manner approved by the Secretary of Commerce. 15 U.S.C. 5001(g) also preempts state and local laws prohibiting the sale of air guns or requiring markings inconsistent with the federal requirements.”[11]

Regarding Orange Tips

Colorado State Senate Deputy Chief of Staff, James Lucero comments: “There is no requirement Federally …requiring an orange tip on your ‘airsoft gun.’ Federal Law does require a minimum of a 6mm orange tip be present during importation of any ‘toy gun’ (including airsoft replicas.) And that the imported item’s orange markings be ‘permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device.’ This is a restriction on the manufacturer, and does not prevent the consumer from modifying their ‘airsoft gun.’

So this leads to the question, ‘is my airsoft gun required to have an orange tip?’ The answer in short is ‘No.’ No …Federal Law specifically requires that you have an orange tip on every ‘airsoft gun.’ However[,] for safety reasons it is recommended that you keep the orange tip so there is less of a chance for confusion of your ‘airsoft gun’ with an actual firearm. The Federal Law covering this is under the Commerce and Foreign Trade section of the Federal Code.”[12]

 

18 Years Old to Purchase

You must be 18 years old or older to purchase ANY Airsoft or Paintball equipment on myapx.shop or any Airsoft Post Exchange(APX) affiliates, sites or apps.

Laws by State and Major Cities

Airsoft guns “…are legal in Alabama. …however check with you local City Clerk if you live in the City Limits for City restrictions.”[13]

“They are not considered firearms[,] so they can be fired anywhere. There may be restrictions regarding private property. You have to be 18 to purchase one”[14] according to federal law.

As far as purchasing an Airsoft gun, one contact reported that he did not “know of any State Law restricting the purchase of airsoft,” but he noted that “retailers may have their own age rules.”[15]

Even with age restrictions upon purchase, minors can shoot Airsoft guns that someone bought who is old enough[16] – provided that they have permission from their parents or guardians.

“Some states and local governments have additional restrictions on Airsoft gun use. The state of Alaska defines …[a firearm] as ‘a weapon, including a pistol, revolver, rifle, or shotgun, whether loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable, designed for discharging a shot capable of causing death or serious physical injury.’ This means that under Alaska’s criminal code Airsoft guns aren’t regulated like other firearms. The only place in State law where air guns are regulated are in State Parks. In State Parks air guns can be shot in places where hunting is allowed. If you are interested in looking at the Alaska laws, you can find information about State Parks”[17] HERE “and you can find information about firearms in the criminal code”[18] HERE.

Another legislator’s office simply reported that there do not appear to be “…any restrictions or laws regulating or effecting the use of Airsoft guns by the state of Alaska. There may be local borough/municipal restrictions, pending on where you live or plan to participate in the sport.”[19]

This was repeated by a third representative, who wrote: “It appears that statewide, there are no prohibitions on air soft guns including where they can be shot, age of purchase, or age of transfer.”[20]

“…[T]he Municipality of Anchorage regulates air powered guns in the same way that it regulates firearms and prohibits firing air guns in the entire municipality except for areas where hunting is allowed and established shooting ranges. …You can find the [municipal] code”[21] HERE.

“…In the Municipality of Anchorage …, [Airsoft] appears to …[fall into] a bit of a gray area. Anchorage Municipal Code 08.25.030 states that it is unlawful for any person to knowingly ‘shoot, discharge or flourish any firearm, air rifle or air pistol within the Municipality…’ unless in areas open to the public for lawful hunting and in established shooting ranges. The responded by saying that they differentiate between CO2 powered weapons and those that are mechanically fired. The Muni prosecutor also said this is a gray area, and that it would be advisable to shoot only in hunting areas and shooting ranges.”

“There are two standards for ‘firearm’ in Title 13 (Criminal Code), one for weapons misconduct (possession/use) and one for the use of a ‘firearm’ in criminal offenses. For purposes of possession/use, I do not believe that an ‘airsoft’ is considered a firearm.  The relevant definition is included in ARS 13-3101 and requires the ‘firearm’ to discharge using an ‘explosive’ (also defined). My understanding of this type of weapon is that it fires using one of three mechanisms: spring, electric motor or a gas cartridge. In my opinion, none of those methods fall under this definition. This is the controlling definition for the chapter that outlines penalties for discharge within a municipality, possession offenses and the carrying of a weapon into specific places.

“That said, an airsoft most certainly could qualify as a firearm under the general criminal statutes (definition is in ARS 13-105).  This definition specifies that the projectile is fired using ‘expanding gasses’ instead of an ‘explosive.’ Depending on the type of airsoft, if used during the commission of a criminal offense, it could qualify the offense for a higher penalty (ex: dangerous offense). The explanation I have heard previously is that this is designed to account for the fact that a person (i.e. victim) might not know that the airsoft isn’t a real handgun, etc. during the commission of a crime.”

“It shall be a misdemeanor for any person to negligently or purposely discharge any firearm, BB or sling shot within the City, (a) In necessary self defense. (b) A law enforcement officer in necessary performance of his duty. (c) For the purpose of target shooting or practice on a range operated by qualified personnel. Qualified personnel shall consist of either a certified firearms safety instructor, rifle or pistol marksmanship instructor certified by the National Rifle Association, or person designated by a rifle or pistol club, public or private school or military agency. “(d) For the purpose of target shooting on private premises with air, spring or CO2 operated BB, pellet guns or slingshots, providing: (1) The target area is enclosed in such manner and with materials that will stop the projectiles. (2) Such target shooting is supervised by an adult at all times. (3) Any safety precautions recommended by the Chief of Police are complied with. (e) In an area recommended as a hunting area by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission and approved by the Chief of Police. Such area must be posted as required by the Chief of Police and may be closed at any time by the Chief of Police or the Director of the Game Department. (f) Where a permit is issued by the Chief of Police. (g) In defense of property from damage by animals or birds, providing property owner obtains permit from Arizona Game Department or United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the taking of such animals or birds is properly supervised by the Game Department or the Fish and Wildlife Service or a person designated by either of those agencies to assure the safety of surrounding property owners. State law reference—Discharge of firearms, A.R.S. § 13-3107.”

In general, it does not appear that an airsoft gun, as usually described, “…would be considered a ‘firearm’ for the purposes of the criminal code but it very likely falls under the regulations governing ‘imitation firearms,’ which is codified below under the Arkansas Children’s Imitation Firearm Act[22]:

“‘20-27-2301. Definition. (a)  As used in this section, ‘imitation firearm’ means a toy that is identical in appearance to an original firearm that was manufactured, designed, and produced after 1898, including only: (1) Air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles; (2) Replica nonguns; and (3) Water guns. (b) ‘Imitation firearm’ does not include: (1) A nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed before 1898; (2) Traditional BB, paintball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure; or (3) A device: (A) For which an orange solid plug or marking is permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel for a depth of not more than six millimeters (6 mm); (B) For which the entire exterior surface is predominately colored other than black, brown, blue, silver, or metallic; or (C) That is constructed of transparent or translucent materials that permit unmistakable observation of the complete contents of the device.

“‘20-27-2302. Sale of imitation firearms prohibited — Penalty. (a) Except as provided under subsection (b) of this section, it is unlawful to sell or offer for sale within this state, by mail or in any other manner, an imitation firearm. (b) A person may sell or offer for sale an imitation firearm if the device is sold solely for purposes of: (1)  Export in interstate or foreign commerce; (2) Lawful use in a theatrical production; (3) Use in a certified or regulated sporting event or competition; (4) Use in a military or civil defense activity or ceremonial activity; or (5) A public display authorized by a public or private school. (c)  A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is subject in an action brought by the city attorney or prosecuting attorney to a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each violation.’

“As you can see, ‘air-soft guns’ is cited under 20-27-2301 as an ‘imitation firearm.’  Further, I’d note that under this subchapter it is the sale of an imitation firearm that is prohibited, not necessary the possession or use of one.”[23]

“You must be 18 …[to purchase an Airsoft gun]. …[However, minors may shoot guns], when accompanied by an adult or at a regulated playing field. …Under the law, airsoft [guns] are considered to be firearms in the state of California. Therefore, not saying you would, BUT, you COULD possibly find yourself in trouble with law enforcement if you were to shoot it in your backyard, neighborhood, park, etc.  But, if you have the space, an enclosed backyard would be a good place, however, if someone called and complained, you might have to talk with police.”[24]

“Airsoft gun laws are …governed by California Penal Code Section 16700, as well as 15 U.S.C § 5001.”[25] (See the section “Federal Law” in this resource.) “In California, you cannot sell, loan or transfer a BB gun to a minor.”[26]

In greater detail:

In California: “Minors cannot purchase airsoft guns[,] and minors can only use airsoft guns accompanied by an adult. You cannot brandish an airsoft gun in public unless it is brightly colored or completely transparent. The big change in California two years ago is that all airsoft and BB guns need to have brightly colored tips in order to distinguish them from real guns. Here’s a list of laws that apply Cal. Penal Code [CPC]: 19910CPC 16250CPC 19915CPC 626CPC 417.4CPC 16700(a & b)CPC 2017020180, 1. CPC 71.7, 25. CPC 25655[.]”[37]

“…[T]here are Airsoft parks around Los Angeles county …[at which interested persons] could go to shoot …[their Airsoft guns]. Contact your local paintball and/or Airsoft store and they could probably recommend some good places to shoot it at.

“The fact that Airsoft guns looks exactly like real firearms could present a danger to the user if someone mistook it for a real gun.  ALWAYS keep the colored safety tip on the gun so that it is distinguishable from a real gun.”[27]

“There are different codes and laws that pertain to Airsoft depending on where you reside and where you decide to operate the Airsoft. …[The general governing ordinance] …is Chapter 5: Public Safety, Morals and Welfare; Article 3: Firearms — Dangerous Weapons —Explosives — Hazardous Trades, of the San Diego Municipal Code. §53.15 through §53.15.2 specifically pertain to Airsoft weapons. …

“In the City of San Diego, Airsoft are illegal to shoot on public property, including parks, sidewalks, or beaches. …Airsoft can be shot in private property, such as your backyard, or in locations such where firearms are permitted to be fired, such as shooting ranges. …

“[I]t’s illegal for someone to sell an Airsoft to a minor and for an unsupervised minor to be in possession of an Airsoft on public property. …[I]t’s illegal for an unsupervised minor to be in possession of an Airsoft on public property.

“It’s important to handle Airsoft with safety and care. Always operate Airsoft in places that are permitted and use the proper safety equipment. For more information regarding safety, please contact the San Diego Police Department for more firearm/weapon safety tips.

“[Again,] Chapter 5, Article 3 of the San Diego Municipal Code covers air guns such as Airsoft, although different jurisdictions (such as the County, the State, etc.) may have additional laws.

“Please remember that these codes exist for your safety and the safety of others. Should you have other questions regarding the legality of Airsoft recreational sporting weapons, please contact your Neighborhood Division of the San Diego Police Department. …”[28]

At greater length:

“Any firearms or explosives are covered within San Diego Municipal Code Chapter 5, Section 3[, according to which]:[29] It is legal to own and use an airsoft gun in San Diego, provided that you are not possessing or using one in a public space or gathering, and are under the age of 18. This means that if you are under 18, you are free to use an airsoft gun in your backyard, or a permitted facility (provided that you of course, do not shoot / threaten anyone). If you are above the age of 18, you are allowed to possess and use an airsoft gun in public spaces, provided again that you do not harm, injure, threaten, or incite fear with the airsoft gun.

“You would [also] be allowed to use an airsoft gun that has been purchased by someone else, provided that you use it lawfully.”[30]

“An airsoft gun is not classified as a ‘firearm’ because it is not propelled by an explosion. However, under San Diego law, you may not ‘…discharge any air gun, or sling shot, or bean shooter, or throw, hurl, heave or propel any sharp pointed missile, or dart, or arrow upon any public street or sidewalk or public gathering place within the corporate limits of The City of San Diego.’

“This means that as long as you are on city property, you are NOT allowed to fire your airsoft gun. On private property, this does not apply as long as you are supervised and/or in a place designated for airsoft play (i.e. airsoft parks).

“You must be 18 years or older to purchase an airsoft gun. However, you MAY operate an airsoft gun with supervision or within a legally designated spot, if you are underage. You may use an airsoft gun that does not belong to you as long as you follow these regulations.

“For Safety, ALWAYS wear protective eye-wear while you are using or are near the use of airsoft guns. NEVER remove the bright orange cap found on all imitation guns. This cap allows law enforcement officials along with the general public to know that you aren’t carrying an actual firearm and therefore be cause for alarm.[31]

According to a New York Times article from several decades ago: “…it is illegal to sell or possess a pellet gun in San Francisco.”

“Airsoft / projectiles cannot be legally fired in San Jose city limits. San Jose officers would respond to a call for service where there was a complaint about an airsoft being fired whether in private or public property.

“Part 4 – PROJECTILE WEAPONS[:] 10.32.140 – Projectile weapons prohibited. A. No person shall, within the limits of the City of San José, make use of any slingshot, crossbow or similar device, or discharge or propel any dart, pellet, BB, rock, bolt, arrow or any other projectile from any air rifle, air pistol, BB gun, pellet gun, slingshot, rubber sling, crossbow or other instrument or device by means of which missiles of any kind or description are hurled, shot or projected. B. The prohibition in subsection A. shall not apply to the use of bows and crossbows at archery and crossbow ranges within the city. Bows and crossbows shall be used at ranges in a manner that will not endanger the public health, safety and general welfare.”[32]

“…Airsoft guns are legal in Colorado, but many of the rules with BB guns also apply.”[33]

In greater detail:

“Colorado & Federal Law Regarding Airsoft[:] 19-2-508 (3)(a)(III.5) and 22-33-102 (4)(b) are the only references to BB guns in the [Colorado State] statutes. But below is some useful information.

“…An ‘Airsoft Gun’ is not a ‘firearm’ under Colorado State Law or Federal Law. …

“Carrying an Airsoft Gun in a Public Area; Be Cautious. Colorado CRS 18-9-106 Disorderly Conduct: (1) A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly: …(f) Not being a peace officer, displays a deadly weapon, displays any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon, or represents verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon in a public place in a manner calculated to alarm. …Reference: CRS 18-9-106 http://www.leg.state.co.us/

“Pointing your ‘Airsoft Gun’ at someone. Only point your ‘Airsoft Gun’ at a consenting individual participating in a game. Never point your ‘Airsoft Gun’ at an unsuspecting individual.  You should know this would alarm someone who is unsuspecting. ‘Airsoft Guns’ can commonly be mistaken for a real firearm which is a deadly weapon. Colorado CRS 18-3-206 Menacing: (1) A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed: (a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or (b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon. Reference: CRS 18-3-206: http://www.leg.state.co.us/

“…Orange Tips on ‘Airsoft Guns’. There is no requirement Federally or by Colorado Law requiring an orange tip on your ‘airsoft gun.’ Federal Law does require a minimum of a 6mm orange tip be present during importation of any ‘toy gun’ (including airsoft replicas.) And that the imported item’s orange markings be ‘permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device.’ This is a restriction on the manufacturer, and does not prevent the consumer from modifying their ‘airsoft gun.’ So this leads to the question, ‘is my airsoft gun required to have an orange tip?’ The answer in short is ‘No.’ No State or Federal Law specifically requires that you have an orange tip on every ‘airsoft gun.’ However[,] for safety reasons it is recommended that you keep the orange tip so there is less of a chance for confusion of your ‘airsoft gun’ with an actual firearm. The Federal Law covering this is under the Commerce and Foreign Trade section of the Federal Code. Reference: 15 USC 1150: http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=fe6593e6c18f07b9f6b29ffca8409aa9&rgn=div5&view=text&node=15:3.1.3.7.1&idno=15

“…What are the rules regarding transporting an airsoft gun in a vehicle? While an airsoft gun is not technically a firearm, it is also NOT considered a weapon by itself.  You may carry it in a vehicle, whether it be in a case, out in the open, in the trunk or in the passenger compartment. While transporting it, do not display it to other drivers, or point it at anyone. [See, again,] above. Even if an airsoft gun were considered a firearm, you could still carry it in a vehicle in any manner you wish in the state of Colorado.

“Colorado CRS 18-12-105 Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon: (2) It shall not be an offense if the defendant was: (b) A person in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance who carries a weapon for lawful protection of such person’s or another’s person or property while traveling. Colorado CRS 18-12-105.6 Limitations on Local Ordinances Regarding Firearms in Private Vehicles: To summarize this, local areas cannot restrict your right to transport a weapon in your vehicle as ‘This inconsistency creates a confusing patchwork of laws that unfairly subjects a person who lawfully travels with a weapon to criminal penalties because he or she travels within a jurisdiction or into or through another jurisdiction.’ ‘This inconsistency places citizens in the position of not knowing when they may be violating local laws’ …‘no municipality, county, or city and county shall have the authority to enact or enforce any ordinance or resolution that would restrict a person’s ability to travel with a weapon in a private automobile or other private means of conveyance…’ Reference CRS 18-12-105 & 18-12-105.6: http://www.leg.state.co.us/”

“…Local Laws Restricting Where You Can Play: While most areas do not have restrictions as long as you are not causing public alarm. If you are planning on playing in a location, it is recommended that you check with that local municipality or county before you play.

“…It is unlawful to play on County Open Space.  Boulder County Open Space specifically restricts airsoft and similar activities.

“Boulder County Ordinance and Resolution 2010-56: Discharging or carrying firearms, crossbows, fireworks, explosives or projectile weapons of any kind are not permitted on Open Space Property. This includes paintball, BB, pellet, air and blow guns; rockets, crossbows, longbows, and slingshots ($300 fine.) Reference: BC Resolution 2010-56: http://www.bouldercounty.org/play/recreation/pages/posrulesandregs.aspx

Generally speaking, Connecticut has “…some of the strictest gun laws in the country, and Airsoft guns fall into the same category as air guns. …You have to be 18 to buy an Airsoft gun, but …[a minor] can shoot on your own property or someone else’s property with permission…

“There are so many laws that cover guns, BB guns, pellet guns, etc. in Connecticut, that it would be impossible to send them all. …[Here is] a link to a summary of gun laws from the State Police[.]”[34]

That said, according to one legislator’s office: “Airsoft guns are not specifically defined in state statue. There is a possibility …[they] could be considered …firearm[s]. The definition of a firearm is in CT State Statute 53a-3.”

According to the Office of Legislative research: “Connecticut law does not prohibit firing airsoft guns.These guns are sometimes compared to BB guns and air rifles, but Connecticut law does not define what constitutes such guns. Generally, airsoft guns are air guns that fire non-metallic projectiles, while air rifles are rifles that fire projectiles through compressed air, and BB guns are guns that shoot small metallic balls from a spring mechanism. However, Connecticut courts have not considered or ruled on whether an airsoft gun should be classified as a BB gun, air rifle, or neither.

“If an airsoft gun is considered a BB gun, which the law classifies as a ‘dangerous weapon,’ the law would allow it to be carried only by (1) participants in, or going to or coming from, supervised Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts of America events or competitions or other authorized events or competitions and (2) people on, or going to or from, their own property and on or going to or from someone else’s property with the person’s permission (CGS § 53-206).

“If an airsoft gun is considered an air rifle, then state law would not specifically restrict where it could be fired. However, there may be other generally applicable state laws and regulations or municipal ordinances that regulate airsoft gun use. For example, when using an airsoft gun, an individual could potentially violate state reckless endangerment laws (CGS §§ 53a-63 & -64) or municipal ordinances limiting gun use (see Manchester Code § 180-1,which generally prohibits people from discharging firearms, including toy pistols and cannons).

“[Additionally: t]he state does not have any law or regulation that sets a minimum age for purchasing or firing an airsoft gun. But in practice, stores may have company policies not to sell to minors (i.e., age 18).” [35]

“…[W]hile there are no specific statutes that prohibit the use of airsoft guns, officials will consider the device a legitimate firearm if used during a crime. Additionally, Detective Peters with the CT State Police advised that if the airsoft gun does not have an orange cap at the tip of the barrel, law enforcement will also react as if it were a real firearm.”[36]

In greater detail:

“Sec. 53a-3. Definitions. …(19) ‘Firearm’ means any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged…”.[37]

A Connecticut “court” once “…ruled as a matter of law that [a particular] BB gun in evidence was a deadly weapon…”.[38]

For further reading, “…the [Connecticut] Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection …[has a] FAQ page on firearms that includes information on Airsoft guns,” HERE.

According to one legislative aide: “Airsoft Guns are legal to buy in Delaware” – at least, if you’re over the age of 18. However, “those under the age of 16 …[are] not allow[ed] …to possess or operate airsoft guns without adult supervision.”[39]

However, Giffords.org reports: “Delaware prohibits possession of dangerous weapons, which are defined to include certain large caliber BB or air guns.”[40]

Apart from that, “[t]he law on airsoft guns in Delaware appears to be unsettled. Generally speaking, Delawareans should be extremely cautious when using these devices.”[41]

Interested parties are advised to “[c]heck local ordinances to make sure there are not municipal or county restrictions.

“Although airsoft guns fire plastic pellets at relatively low velocities, they can still present a hazard if fired at someone not wearing proper safety gear.

“Lastly, outside of an orange tip (intended to differentiate airsoft guns from firearms) they can look like the real thing.  Anyone operating airsoft guns should take into account that citizens unfamiliar with the devices could easily mistake them for actual firearms.  Whenever possible, preemptive action should be taken to avoid such misunderstandings.”[42]

Specifically, section 790.22Florida Statutes, addresses the use of BB guns and other related weapons devices… In addition, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission provides information about hunting regulations and air guns, which …[readers] may find helpful.”[43]

In greater detail:

In Florida, Airsoft is partially governed by Florida State Statute 790.22.

“790.22. Use of BB guns, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices by minor under 16; limitation; possession of firearms by minor under 18 prohibited; penalties.—

“(1) The use for any purpose whatsoever of BB guns, air or gas-operated guns, or electric weapons or devices, by any minor under the age of 16 years is prohibited unless such use is under the supervision and in the presence of an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent.

“(2) 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, electric weapon or device, or firearm in violation of the provisions of subsection (1) of this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree… .

(3) A minor under 18 years of age may not possess a firearm, other than an unloaded firearm at his or her home, unless: (a) The minor is engaged in a lawful hunting activity and is: 1. At least 16 years of age; or 2. Under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult. (b) The minor is engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity and is: 1. At least 16 years of age; or 2. Under 16 years of age and supervised by an adult who is acting with the consent of the minor’s parent or guardian. (c) The firearm is unloaded and is being transported by the minor directly to or from an event authorized in paragraph (a) or paragraph (b).

(4)(a) Any parent or guardian of a minor, or other adult responsible for the welfare of a minor, who knowingly and willfully permits the minor to possess a firearm in violation of subsection (3) commits a felony of the third degree…

“(6) Any firearm that is possessed or used by a minor in violation of this section shall be promptly seized by a law enforcement officer and disposed of …”.[44]

One legislator reported that Airsoft and “BB guns are not classified as firearms under current Georgia law[,] so there is …[no] state law restricting ownership or use of them.”

Another stated: “There is no state law that I am aware of in Georgia that covers Airsoft guns except for OCGA 12­-3­-10(o)(4) which prohibits air rifles in any state park, historic site, or recreational area without certain approvals.  Therefore, under state law with that one exception, there are no limitations on the use, possession, or purchase of Airsoft guns.  However, there may be local ordinances of counties or municipalities which may regulate such matters.  I do not have access to that information.  I have also heard that federal law has certain restrictions on the sale of such items to minors but I have not been able to locate such a law.”[45]

“However, it is possible that there are local ordinances in the county or city[,] so you need to ensure that you are following those local ordinances.”[46]

The watchdog website Giffords.org states: “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. …Georgia has no other laws regulating non-powder guns.”[47]

At greater length:

“Airsoft gun laws as they pertain to individual use and possession in the United States vary from state to state. From my research, there are no applicable state laws pertaining to airsoft use in Georgia. The federal law states that an individual must be at least 18 years of age to purchase an airsoft gun. That being said, airsoft guns are not considered to be firearms so use is legal for all ages.

“The distinction between use and purchase is necessary to understand. Generally, airsoft gun laws vary based on city and state, and …[vary according to] local ordinance …It is important to note that although there does not appear to be any state or local laws dealing with airsoft gun usage, there could still be restrictions on their use if the property is subject to homeowners association prohibitions or other restrictive covenants. Although there is no current legislation on top of the existing federal regulations pertaining to airsoft usage it important to know that the careless or reckless use of such weapons could entail potential civil or criminal charges, and appropriate safety and supervision should be utilized while using an airsoft gun.”[48]

Airsoft guns “…are unlawful in the city of Atlanta: …Sec. 106-303. – Air guns, slingshots, similar weapons. It shall be unlawful for any person to shoot any air gun, air pistol, slingshot or like instrument or weapon within the limits of the city. (Code 1977, § 17-4031)”[49]

“In Hawaii, you must be at least 18 years old to buy a BB gun, but you don’t need a permit. You cannot carry one in public.”

Q: Are Airsoft guns legal to shoot in Hawaii?
“In the City and County of Honolulu (Oahu), it is legal to shoot an airsoft gun in certain circumstances and in certain environments.”

Q: Can they only be shot in certain places?
“Air guns can only be shot on private property where it is clear that BB’s will not leave the property. For example, you may shoot in airsoft fields or on a private residence only if you are 100% sure that the pellets will not go into a neighbor’s property, public property, or damage any surrounding property. You may not shoot an airsoft gun in an area if you know it someone’s property may be damaged. It is illegal to shoot airsoft guns on any street, alley, public road or public land.”

Q: Do I have to be a certain age to buy one myself?
“You must be 18 years or older to buy an airsoft gun.” (BUT see the introductory section titled “18 Years Old to Purchase?”)

Q: Could I shoot one that someone bought who is old enough?
“You may shoot airsoft guns if you are accompanied by someone who is 18 years or older and in the appropriate location to do so (such as a target range). You are also allowed to use an airsoft gun if you are enrolled in a club, team or society (such as an air riflery team) and are supervised by a responsible adult.”

Q: Are there any other things about Airsoft that are important to learn?
“If you are ever unsure about the use of an airsoft gun, use your best judgment and ask an adult if what you are about to do is safe and legal. Always consider the safety of others and their property if you are unsure if where or how you are using an airsoft gun is appropriate and always be sure to be under adult supervision.”

Q: And my dad told me to ask about what law is it that covers Airsoft?
“You can find laws regulating Air Guns in the Revised Ordinances of Honolulu, Chapter 41, Article 8.”[50]

In Honolulu: “Air Guns” are regulated by Chapter 41 of the Regulations of Honolulu – specifically Article 8. ROH 41.8:

“Article 8. Air Guns[:] …Sec. 41-8.1 Definitions. ‘Air gun’ means any gun, rifle or pistol, by whatever name known, which is designed to expel a pellet or BB shot by the action of compressed air or gas, or by the action of a spring or elastic but does not include any firearm. ‘Dealer’ means any person engaged in the business of selling or renting air guns. …

“Sec. 41-8.2 Restrictions on sale, rental, gift or other transfer. (a) It is unlawful for any dealer to sell, lend, rent, give or otherwise transfer an air gun to any person under the age of 18 years … (b) It is unlawful for any person to sell, lend, rent, give or otherwise transfer any air gun to any person under 18 years of age, except where the relationship of parent and child, guardian and ward, or adult instructor and pupil exists between such person and the person under 18 years of age. …

“Sec. 41-8.3 Restrictions on use. (a) It is unlawful for any person to carry or display an air gun on any street, alley, public road or on any public land, unless the air gun is unloaded and in a suitable case or securely wrapped. (b) It is unlawful for any person to discharge any air gun from or across any street, sidewalk, alley or public land, or any public place except on a properly constructed target range. (c) It is unlawful for any person to discharge any air gun on any private parcel of land or residence in such a manner that the pellet or BB shot may reasonably be expected to traverse any ground or space outside the limits of such parcel of land or residence or in such a manner that persons or property may be endangered… (d) It is unlawful for any person to discharge any air gun in such a manner or under such circumstances that persons or property may be endangered.

“Sec. 41-8.4 Exceptions. Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, it shall be lawful for any person to possess an air gun if it is: (a) Kept within such person’s domicile. (b) Used by a person under 18 years of age, who is a duly enrolled member of any club, team or society organized for education or training purposes and maintaining as a part of its facilities or having written permission to use an indoor or outdoor target range, when the air gun is used at such target range under the supervision, guidance and instruction of a responsible adult. (c) Used by a person 18 years of age or older at a properly constructed target range. (d) Used in or on any private parcel of land or residence under circumstances in which the air gun can be fired, discharged or operated in such a manner as not to endanger persons or property and in such manner as to prevent the pellet or BB shot from traversing any grounds or space outside the limits of such parcel of land or residence. (e) Used in hunting or going to or from the place of hunting in accordance with law by a person who has obtained a hunting license pursuant to HRS Chapter 183D or who, if such person is under 18 years of age, has obtained such a hunting license and is accompanied by an adult who has obtained such hunting license. (f) Used by a person involved in a living history presentation or other activity for historical interpretation or educational purposes, or by a person participating in a parade if such activity or parade participant is associated with an established historical organization, museum, military preservation organization, or other group with a mission to educate the public at various events through the use of historical artifacts, clothing, vehicles, aircraft, maritime vessels, and firearms or replicas thereof. …

“Sec. 41-8.6 Violation–Penalty. Any person violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $500.00 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year, or both. …”[51]

“Yes, airsoft guns are legal to shoot in Idaho. [Where they may be shot] …depends on the county and city laws and ordinances[;] counties generally are less restrictive than city municipalities. Counties should have certain ‘out of town’ authorized places to shoot/discharge a weapon.

“An individual needs to be 18 years of age to purchase, however, if accompanied by an adult purchase can be younger than 18. …

“[A minor may shoot an Airsoft gun that someone bought who is old enough, provided that they do so with parental permission and] … in authorized locations per county and city laws.

“…[Regulations covering Airsoft include state] laws and local city ordinances. It is up to the individual to verify with state, county and local authorities, the laws/requirements, it does vary.”[52]

In greater detail:

Airsoft guns do not seem to be included under the definition of “firearms” in Idaho. According to Idaho Statute 18-3302F: “‘Handgun’ means a pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve (12) inches. Excluded from this definition are handguns firing a metallic projectile, such as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO pressure, or spring action or any spot marker gun.”[53]

Not much appears to be said about air guns in Idaho state law. However, per Statute 21-702, it may be illegal to shoot an air gun at an airplane. “Any person who intentionally or with reckless disregard for the safety of human life: …(e) discharges an arrow, gun, airgun or firearm at or toward an aircraft, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years, or by both such fine and imprisonment.”[54]

“Idaho Code 18-3302A Sale of Weapons to Minors [specifies that] ‘It shall be unlawful to directly or indirectly sell to any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years any weapon without the written consent of the parent or guardian of the minor. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine not in excess of one thousand dollars ($1,000), by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not in excess of six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment. As used in this section, weapon shall mean any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver or gun.’

“Idaho Code 18-3302F(5)(b) Prohibition of Possession of Certain Weapons by a Minor [defines] ‘Handgun …[to mean] a pistol, revolver, or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet, or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable, or magazine breech, does not exceed twelve (12) inches. Excluded from this definition are handguns firing a metallic projectile, such as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure, CO pressure, or spring action or any spot marker gun.’

“Many cities have an ordinance addressing such items.”[55]

See the following “City Ordinances… 9.52.010: Definitions, which includes:

“‘FIREARMS: Any instrument used in the propulsion of shot, shell or bullets, or other harmful objects by the action of gunpowder exploded within it, or by the action of compressed air within it, or by the power of springs and including what are commonly known as air rifles and BB guns.’

“‘WEAPON: Any air rifle, air pistol, explosive, blasting caps, knife, hatchet, ax, slingshot, blackjack, metal knuckles, mace, iron buckle, baseball bat, ax handle, chains, crowbar, hammer, stick, pole, or other club or bludgeon or any other instrumentality, customarily used or intended for probable use as a dangerous weapon.’

“9.52.020: Discharge Prohibited[:] ‘It is unlawful for any person to discharge, within the limits of the city, any firearms, as defined in section 9.52.010 of this chapter, slingshots, zip guns, or bows and arrows, except that military honor guards when performing at recognized cemeteries may discharge blanks with permission of the parks and cemetery director or his/her designee. Furthermore, military honor guards performing at Veterans’ Park on Memorial Day or Veterans Day may discharge blanks. Furthermore, city of Coeur d’Alene fire or police honor guards or military honor guards may discharge blanks at the Cherry Hill Fallen Heroes Plaza to honor a fallen firefighter or police officer. Any discharge of firearms at Cherry Hill Fallen Heroes Plaza would require a permit from the parks director.’”

“Airsoft guns can be [shot] in IL; however, they cannot be shot in public places, only target ranges or private property. …[Y]ou can shoot one at 13 but only at a target range or on private property.

“As for other things to know, there might be some local ordinances regarding Airsoft use, so you should check with your local municipality.”[56]

In greater detail:

“Illinois’ ‘air rifle’ law is 720 ILCS 5/24.8… Most of the state laws about air guns only apply to those under the age of 13. Air guns cannot be sold to persons under 13, and children under 13 are limited in their ability to possess and use air guns. However, there are still restrictions on where persons can use air guns regardless of age. For example, it is illegal to ‘discharge any air rifle from or across any street, sidewalk, road, highway or public land or any public place except on a safely constructed target range.’

“I should also point out that towns and cities can make their own laws, so you may want to contact your town to see if they have any additional laws that you should know about. To the extent you need legal advice, you may want to speak with an attorney.”[57]

“Illinois …define[s] high-power and/or large caliber non-powder guns as firearms. Illinois excludes from the definition of firearms non-powder guns of .18 caliber or less and non-powder guns with a muzzle velocity of less than 700 feet per second.”[58]

“According to [the state legislature] policy office, there are no state laws that govern the use of airsoft guns. However, the Federal law states that a person must be 18 years old to purchase an airsoft gun, but not that you must be 18 to use one. [It is permissible for a minor to shoot an Airsoft gun u]nder the guidance of your parents… [P]roper safety gear should be used at all times, and an airsoft gun should not be aimed or shot at another individual.”[59]

That said, it is necessary to “…reach out to your local officials, to find out whether there are local ordinances that dictate how and when an airsoft gun may be used in your area.”[60]

In greater detail:

“First, Airsoft guns are legal to use in Indiana. Federal law requires that a person must be at least 18 years old in order to purchase an Airsoft gun, but you are legally able to shoot an Airsoft gun at any age in Indiana. The law does not classify them as ‘firearms.’ Our state law says that a firearm is ‘any weapon that is capable of expelling …a projectile by means of an explosion.’ Because airsoft guns are powered by compressed air, they are not considered firearms. However, it is important that an adult supervises you if you use an Airsoft gun.

“The law does not specify locations where you are not able to shoot Airsoft guns. With that being said, please exercise caution if shooting an Airsoft gun, and avoid shooting people. Although Airsoft guns are not firearms, they can still cause injuries if used inappropriately or recklessly. Again, it is important that a parent know that you are shooting an Airsoft gun and that they supervise you doing so to make sure that you stay safe.[61]

“Yes, airsoft is legal in Iowa and there is no state law on age for purchase or use. However, you can be subject to local ordinances and retail restrictions.”[62]

In greater detail:

“Iowa law on weapons can be found in chapter 724 of the Code. Weapons law in Iowa is a bit confusing and hard to follow for someone not familiar. The first thing Iowa does in 724.1 is define which weapons are always illegal for anyone. Called ‘offensive weapons[,]’ these include machine guns, bombs, grenades, weapons that fire explosive rounds, etc. We are left with the presumption that anything not prohibited in this section, or by federal law (also machine guns, artillery, bazookas, etc.) is legal in Iowa.  That is just the beginning of the analysis. Next comes a series of exceptions for those with special license or permission. Then once a person has figured out what they can actually own (and at what age) the next step is to determine when and where you can use said weapon and what permit or process you need to transport or carry the weapon.  Airsoft guns do not appear in any of this language which leaves us with the presumption that they are legal and that carry and use are not prohibited by state law.

“The next step is to consult local laws. Iowa has a preemption law that prohibits the enactment of local laws on firearms. However, as mentioned above, airsoft guns are not covered by that preemption because they are not considered firearms and are not subject to the body of law above.  That means locals can enact their own laws and regulations. Several Iowa locations have done so.  Des Moines prohibits possession by anyone under 18 and requires airsoft be used only on private property and for designated purposes. Anyone wishing to purchase or use airsoft should consult their local officials to find out what local ordinances (if any) are in place. Some larger cities have ordinances published online and searchable. Most localities in Iowa either don’t, or it is hard to find. A phone call to the local city manager or county supervisors is recommended.

“There is also the completely private matter of retail rules. Walmart imposes age limits on purchase of airsoft (age 18) and of the CO2 cartridges used (age 16).  Being a national retailer and having to respond to national concerns (injuries, mistake of airsoft for real guns, etc.) Walmart has decided to avoid liability by imposing their own restrictions.  An informal search of retail websites has revealed that some sites don’t ask for a purchaser’s age and thus will sell to anyone with the means to order online.  Iowa has no law on this so it is up to the retailer.

“It is also important to note that the above is not all there is to be concerned about. Anyone using an airsoft gun improperly (pointing it at someone, shooting someone who is not an active participant in a game or competition, or trying to intimidate someone by pretending it is a real weapon) is subject to criminal prosecution for assault or for violating other statutes.”[63]

Airsoft guns are legal in Des Moines. But a person has to be 18 years old to purchase one (though minors can shoot them as long as there are “supervised by an adult”), and they can only be fired in certain areas.

“Under Iowa law, airsoft pistols are not considered a dangerous weapon. They are not a firearm because they carry no explosive round. Therefore, they are legal.  With that being said, based on how …[they are] used, they can be considered an offensive weapon should …[they] be used in a crime.  …

“Basically, if you shoot them in the City, it needs to be at an enclosed firing range, school function under school supervision, etc. …No shooting at birds or animals in the city limits. …

“‘Sec. 70-81. – Airguns and BB guns. (a) The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this subsection, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning: Airgun means any gun, including handguns, capable of propelling a pellet or other projectile from the barrel of such gun by nonexplosive means, such as compressed air, CO 2 or other gas. BB gun means any airgun capable of propelling a BB or other projectile from the barrel by means of a spring mechanism or air. Shoot, fire, or discharge means the act of triggering the mechanism of an airgun or BB gun so that it propels a pellet, BB or other projectile from the barrel of such gun.

“‘(b) No person shall shoot, fire, or discharge any airgun or BB gun, except pursuant to sections 70-82 and 70-84 of this article and section 22-59of this Code, within the city or within a city-owned park without written permission of the chief of police. Such permission shall limit the time and place of shooting and may be revoked by the chief of police. (c) No person under the age of 18 shall shoot, fire or discharge any airgun or BB gun unless under the direct supervision of an adult. (d) No person shall shoot, fire or discharge any airgun or BB gun at any live animal or bird unless express written permission to do so has been granted by the chief of police, except as provided in section 22-59of this Code. (C75, § 17-35.02; O.9036; C79, C91, § 17-35.02; O.13,999, 14,903)

“‘Cross reference— Definitions generally,§ 1-2. Sec. 70-82. – Use of airguns and BB guns. (a) Airguns and BB guns may be fired or discharged within the city by persons for target shooting purposes without written permission of the chief of police in the following situations: (1) In connection with educational programs of a public or private school under the supervision of school personnel. (2) At enclosed shooting ranges or firing ranges, either in target competition or in practice, under the continuing supervision of the owner or his or her designee. (3) In any park areas specifically designed for such and designated by the city park and recreation board, under such rules as that board may enact to ensure the safety of participants and others. (4) In enclosed private buildings. (b) No person shall shoot, fire or discharge any airgun or BB gun under authority of this section in such fashion that the discharged pellet, projectile or BB travels beyond the building in which such airgun or BB gun is fired or, for outdoor shooting, beyond the boundaries of the designated shooting area in which the person is shooting.’”[64]

“There is no state law that covers airsoft.  Most cities have an ordinance (law) regarding airsofts.  They are not legal to discharge in the city limits.

8.04.010 Discharge within City Limits Prohibited. 1. No person, or members of a corporation, firm or organization shall discharge any firearm or dangerous or offensive weapon, or any apparatus capable of propelling a missile, including but not limited to any air rifle or gun, paintball gun, CO2 rifle or gun, slingshot or bow and arrow within the corporate limits of the city.

“2.This section shall not apply under the following circumstances: a. discharge of a weapon upon his, her or its own premises and then only in defense of self or others; or

  1. use of a toy item or apparatus deemed by the manufacturer to be usable by individuals under the age of ten (10) that discharge low risk projectiles including but not limited to foam, Nerf and ping pong balls; or c. discharge of a cannon, gun, rifle or other firearm in connection with a military ceremony or burial with military rites; or d. discharge of a weapon or other apparatus in an established indoor or outdoor firing range under the supervision of a designated individual who is qualified to assure that adequate safety precautions are established and observed; or

“e. use of bows and arrows under supervision and during the course of an educational program in archery sponsored or conducted by an educational institution, Department of Natural Resources or recreational program; or f. discharge of the weapon or apparatus with permission of the city manager or his designated agent upon application for and receipt of a permit specifying the time period, place, purpose, safety precautions required, type of weapon or apparatus and type of ammunition/ projectile to be used and the person, corporation or organization to whom the permission is granted.

“3. This section shall not apply, nor be so construed, to prevent any United States officer, state, county or city officer from discharging any firearm or weapon in the execution of his or her duties as such officer. 4.A violation of this section is a simple misdemeanor, punishable as provided in section 1.04.100, and/or imprisonment for up to thirty days.”[65]

“Airsoft products are legal to purchase in Kansas. …[Y]ou are required to be 18 years of age in order to purchase the product. Beyond that, responsible adults use their best judgment as to who should or shouldn’t use the product.  …There is no law regarding the ownership or use of an airsoft product.  If someone purchased a product and allowed you to use it, that would be permissible…”[66]

“Air guns are not generally governed by the firearm ownership statutes because they are not firearms by definition. Firearms are defined as a device that propels a device by explosion or combustion.  Air propulsion is not included in the definition.”[67] “…[B]ecause it is not considered a firearm under Kansas definition, [an Airsoft gun] does not apply to [sic] state concealed carry laws—airsoft guns are usually regulated by local and county ordinance. For instance, some KC areas have outlawed them, but most places allow them. You have to be 18 to buy one, but can operate them without supervision at 16. Some jurisdictions will not allow them to be shot in city limits. Check local ordinances in your town.”[68]

“There is a statute pertaining to air guns and their use on school property, but I do not know of any statutes restricting the ownership of such devices.”[69]

In sum: “There are no Kansas state laws governing the use of air guns [simpliciter – Ed.]. There are, however, local laws governing the use of air guns in several areas of the state. …[Below] is merely a sample of local Kansas laws governing air-soft guns. The law is specific in each particular municipality, so it is necessary to check the local laws to determine the legality in any particular location.”[70]

Overland Ordinance Sec. 11.60.050 prohibits discharging air rifles within the City limits without the written consent of the landowner whose land 15 acres or more and ‘primarily rural or devoted to agriculture.’”[71]

“In like manner, Wichita Ordinance Sec. 5.88.020 prohibits the discharge of any “air rifle, pellet gun, BB gun or any other firearm within the corporate limits of the City.” Wichita provide exceptions for firing blanks, private or public shooting ranges approved by the police, and self-defense or defense of another.

“Airsoft gun laws as they pertain to individual use and possession in the United States vary from state to state. The federal law states that an individual must be at least 18 years of age to purchase an airsoft gun. That being said, airsoft guns are not considered to be firearms, so use is legal for all ages. Kentucky does not specifically regulate non-powder guns.”[72] “[T]here are no Kentucky laws that regulate the purchase or use of Airsoft guns.”[73]

“Airsoft guns are legal to own and shoot in Louisville and they are not restricted to any certain area. Of course[,] the best place to play is always areas with other players that have boundaries, away from the public. Places like the Paintball asylum are great!

“When buying Airsoft, each weapon is age-specific. Typically, stores like WalMart [etc.] will only sell these weapons to persons that are at least the age of 16. The packaging of the weapon will tell you, normally. If you are not old enough to purchase, but want to shoot, you have to be accompanied by someone the same age as it would take to buy the gun in the first place. Example: If you have to be 16 years old to buy an airsoft pistol, you have to be with someone 16 or older in order to shoot it, safely.”[74]

“There are no state laws as far as I researched governing airsoft guns, however there are federal laws as far as the bright orange tip on the barrel and an age limit as far as the purchase. If this weapon is purchased for you, please be safe and use it in the presence of an adult. Be safe… .”[75]

“Under Municipal ordinance section 54-345 it is unlawful for someone under the age of 18 to purchase an air soft pistol/rifle. Section 54-336 states discharging an air soft pistol/rifle is prohibited (not allowed) in the city of New Orleans unless it is at a private shooting gallery or legal hunting area. We would not recommend shooting another person either with or without their permission as with any weapon that can discharge a projectile can cause serious injury and sometimes worse.

“One thing to remember with an airsoft pistol/rifle is to treat it as a firearm. They should not at all be treated as a toy at any time. They can be very difficult for Police Officers and others to determine if they are a true weapon and could put everyone in danger if handled or used in an improper manner.

“Please understand we simply would like you to consult with your parents and with the proper use, supervision, and location before purchasing and using one.”[76]

“Technically ‘air-soft’ are not classified as firearms in Iowa.  They are not even BB guns as they cannot be used for hunting or small game harvest. …[T]hey are legal to own and shoot in Iowa. However, …they are [not] specifically mentioned in the Iowa Law code because they are a recent development.”[77]

Airsoft are legal in Maine. In terms of locations where they may be shot: “There are no [state-level] restrictions …because they are not considered a firearm, they have more similarity with a BB Gun.

“You would have to call the manufacturer of the airsoft gun you want to buy or ask the store if they have age restrictions on the purchase.”

But, even if a minor is too young to purchase an Airsoft gun him or herself, he or she could shoot one that is purchased by someone else – provided that the minor has permission from a parent or guardian.

However, Airsoft guns “…are not legal for hunting purposes. They are not considered a firearm by definition so they cannot be used for hunting in Maine.”[78]

In greater detail:

Here are the relevant laws in Maine. “State Air-gun Law reference: M.R.S.A. Title 12 laws includes pellet/ air guns. Laws that pertain to the use of firearms also apply to pellet/ air guns. Convicted felons are prohibited from possessing firearms unless specifically pardoned by the Governor of Maine or granted a permit by the Maine Department of Public Safety.

ME. REV. STAT. ANN. tit. 17-A, § 554 (West 2005) Endangering the welfare of a child. 1. A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child if that person: … B. Knowingly sells, furnishes, gives away or offers to sell, furnish or give away to a child under 16 years of age …air rifles …. 2.  It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that: …C. The defendant was the parent, foster parent, guardian or an adult approved by the parent, foster parent or guardian who furnished a child under 16 years of age an air rifle …for use in a supervised manner. 3. Endangering the welfare of a child is a Class D crime ….

To put it differently, according to Maine Revised Statutes (Title 17-A, §554, par. 1B): It is illegal to sell or give an air rifle to a minor under the age of 16. However: “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. Rev. Stat. tit. 17-A, § 554(2)(C).”[79]

“Airsoft guns have been determined to be legal and not considered a firearm on the Federal level.  Airsoft guns are legal in Maryland, but you must be 18 years or older to purchase an airsoft gun.

“Ordinances vary by county in Maryland, and it would be necessary to check with your county to see if there are any restrictions, such as an age restriction for use or where they may be used. …

“Airsoft guns are NOT considered as firearms in the eyes of the federal government. This is specifically due to the definition given to a firearm by the Federal government: The term “firearm” is defined in the Gun Control Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. Section 921(a)(3), to include “(A) any 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; (B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon….” Based on Section 921(a) (3), air guns, because they use compressed air and not an explosive to expel a projectile, do not constitute firearms under Federal law — unless they are manufactured with the frames or receivers of an actual firearm.

“The 1988 ‘Federal Toy Gun Law’ Restricts manufacturers of firearm imitations. They regulate by requiring them to manufacture a permanent bright orange plug at the tip of every airsoft gun. This is done to distinguish them from real firearms.”[80]

“In Massachusetts, a minor can use a BB gun if they have an adult or a sporting or hunting license with them.”[81]

In greater detail:

“A person 18 and over may possess without a license

“Anyone under 18 must either 1.) be accompanied by an adult or 2.) have a “sporting license” and permit from the local police chief

“No one may discharge over public ways

“If you are on private property no license is required regardless of age, if gun possessed in private place and not discharged.”[82]

In greater detail:

The use of Airsoft guns in this state is basically governed the Massachusetts General Laws, specifically Part IV, Title I, “Chapter 269, Section 12B: Air rifles; possession by minors; shooting.”[83]

Section 12B. No minor under the age of eighteen shall have an air rifle or so-called BB gun in his possession while in any place to which the public has a right of access unless he is accompanied by an adult or unless he is the holder of a sporting or hunting license and has on his person a permit from the chief of police of the town in which he resides granting him the right of such possession. No person shall discharge a BB shot, pellet or other object from an air rifle or so-called BB gun into, from or across any street, alley, public way or railroad or railway right of way, and no minor under the age of eighteen shall discharge a BB shot, pellet or other object from an air rifle or BB gun unless he is accompanied by an adult or is the holder of a sporting or hunting license. Whoever violates this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars, and the air rifle or BB gun or other weapon shall be confiscated. Upon a conviction of a violation of this section the air rifle or BB gun or other weapon shall, by the written authority of the court, be forwarded to the colonel of the state police, who may dispose of said article in the same manner as prescribed in section ten.”[84]

“In Michigan, people who own BB guns must go through the same license requirements as other firearms.”[85] Per Federal Law (about which, see above on this webpage): “Air guns, which typically shoot a pellet or BB and are often referred to as toy guns, must be sold with an orange safety tip.”[86] Statewide, “…Airsoft guns are entirely legal to own, but some restrictions do exist.”[87] For instance: “There may be local restrictions within your county …”.[88]

In greater detail:

In 2015, the Governor’s office reported: “Airsoft guns, such as paintball, BB or pellet guns, will no longer qualify as firearms under state law, under legislation signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder that brings Michigan in line with federal firearms statutes. ‘These measures address the confusion that has arisen over Michigan’s varying definitions of firearms,’ Snyder said. House Bill 4151 …repeals criminal penalties for minors possessing airsoft guns. HBs 4152, 4153, 4154 and 4156 …revise the definition of firearm in various state statutes. They are now Public Acts 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25, respectively.

“HB 4155 …expands the definition of ‘weapon’ within weapon-free school zones to include pneumatic guns. It is now Public Act 26 of 2015. HBs 4160 and 4161 …define the term ‘brandishing’ in a manner consistent with federal and state court opinions. They are now PAs 27 and 28. Senate Bill 85 …addresses the authority of local governments to regulate airsoft guns. It is now PA 29 of 2015.”[89]

These restrictions were reiterated by a second legislator. “Airsoft guns are legal in Michigan and we recently changed our law pertaining to airsoft, BB guns, pellet guns (or in law, called a pneumatic gun) in 2015.”[90] “In 2015, the state government …passed a package of bills clarifying airsoft and paintball guns legality in Michigan by defining them as ‘pneumatic guns.’ …[T]here isn’t one specific law in Michigan that cover’s airsoft guns, but rather they are described as ‘pneumatic guns’ throughout the Michigan Compiled Law. …”.[91]

“…While airsoft guns are legal in Michigan, we aligned our law to mirror what Federal law says about pneumatic guns. You have to be 18 years old to purchase an airsoft gun, but there is not an age limit on how old you have to be to shoot an airsoft gun, and nothing in state law bars you from shooting another person’s airsoft gun.”[92] To put it slightly differently: “It is legal …for minors under 16 to use …[Airsoft guns] on private property so long as they have a parent or guardians permission.”[93]

“However, our state law allows your local government the authority to pass their own laws regarding the following about pneumatic guns: Prohibit any conduct with a pneumatic gun that is a criminal offense under state law[;] Prohibit the carrying or possession of a pneumatic gun by employees of the municipality in the course of their employment[;] Regulate the possession of pneumatic guns by individuals under the age of 16 by requiring that they be under the supervision of an adult, outside of private property[;] Prohibit an individual from pointing, waving, or displaying a pneumatic gun in a threatening manner[;] Prohibit the discharge of a pneumatic gun in a heavily populated area, outside of private property[.]

A relevant state law seems to be 752.891, Section 1: “Use or possession of BB handgun by minor. No person under 18 years of age shall use or possess any handgun designed and manufactured exclusively for propelling BB’s not exceeding .177 calibre by means of spring, gas or air, outside the curtilage of his domicile unless he is accompanied by a person over 18 years of age.”[94]

Finally: “…Michigan define[s] high-power and/or large caliber non-powder guns as firearms. …Michigan excludes the following non-powder guns from the definition of firearms: smooth bore rifles or handguns designed and manufactured exclusively for propelling BBs, not exceeding .177 caliber by gas or air.”[95]

Some other things to consider:

Firstly: “The best thing to do is to check with your local government to see if they have adopted any ordinances pertaining to pneumatic guns. You also cannot bring your airsoft gun to school. To avoid getting into trouble, always check with your parents, and if you’re at a friend’s check with their parents first before playing with airsoft guns. You need to treat pneumatic guns with the same respect as a real firearm. While these types of guns do not have bullets, they still can cause significant damage to a person, pet, or property.”[96]

“Secondly, the use of airsoft guns should be governed by common sense, and should never be fired in an area that someone may unknowingly be hit. Cities and Charter Townships can restrict their use in public areas, but it is always legal to use them on private land as long as you make common sense efforts to prevent the BB’s from leaving the property.

“Lastly, safety is key whenever using any type of gun, even pneumatic ones. Be sure to never cover up or remove the orange safety tip, and always wear proper eye and ear protection when using them. It’s important to note that using an airsoft gun in a crime will be treated by the police and judge like it was a real gun, and it is illegal to bring them onto school property.”[97]

“Yes, Airsoft is legal in MN. However, you must have your guns orange tipped because many airsoft guns look like real firearms…

“You can shoot them essentially anywhere but please use common sense. It is not easy to differentiate between a firearm and an airsoft gun at a distance. You should generally ensure that anyone who would see you shooting knows you are using a[n] airsoft gun and not a firearm. It should be obvious by the lack of noise, but better safe than sorry. …

“The most important thing to remember when using airsoft weapons is to wear protective gear if you are shooting at another person. An airsoft pellet can and will blind you, if it hits you in the eye. …

“Airsoft is not covered directly in statute. The biggest thing to remember in the legal sphere is that threatening someone with an airsoft gun is a felony. The law is clear about simulated weapons. Even if they are toys, if they can be perceived as a deadly weapon in the moment, they are considered deadly weapons. So[,] don’t wave it at people, and if you ever happen to run in to a police officer while using it IMMEDIATELY put it on the ground. Policemen have a very hard job, and cannot always tell the difference between an airsoft gun and a firearm on first glance.”[98]

“The State Statutes that cover Airsoft BB Guns is Chapters 609 and 624. …Airsoft BB Guns are legal in Minnesota, and where they can be used can vary depending on municipality and local ordinance. …Generally speaking, private property or firing ranges are where they may be used. …

“The age to purchase in the state of Minnesota is 18 years old,[99] and 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.

“…Per the Gifford’s Law Center: ‘Minnesota prohibits the carrying of a BB gun in a public place. 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.’

“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.

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.

“Minnesota also prohibits the use, brandishing, possession, storage or keeping of a BB gun while knowingly on school property.[100]

“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.”[101]

“Shooting Airsoft guns appear to be legal under state law, except on educational property, but counties and cities may adopt ordinances regulating the discharge of firearms within the limits of the county or municipality, so you should check with the county or city in which you want to shoot the guns to make sure of their regulations and see if those would apply to Airsoft guns. Also, if the Airsoft gun is a pistol with a barrel of less than 16 inches, it might be unlawful for minor to possess, so you should check with your local law enforcement agency to find out if they consider an air pistol to be covered by that statute.  It is illegal under state law to possess air rifles or pistols on educational property.

“There are no restrictions under state law on where air guns may be shot, except on educational property, but the places they may be shot could be restricted by county or city ordinances.

“It is not legal to sell, give or lend to a minor under age 18 any deadly weapon or other weapon the carrying of which concealed is prohibited, but an air gun doesn’t fall into those prohibitions.  So there appear to be no age restrictions on purchasing air guns under state law, and a minor should be able to purchase an Airsoft gun. [In some states, merchants can place their own restrictions on Airsoft gun sales. – Ed.]

“Yes, a minor could shoot an air gun purchased by an adult, if for some reason you were unable to purchase one yourself.”[102]

In greater detail:

“There are no state laws that specifically apply to Airsoft guns, but there are several statutes with references to air rifles, air pistols and BB guns. Those statutes are Sections 17-25-15 [on “Shooting Ranges…,” inter alia], 45-9-53 [on “Public Safety and Good Order”], 45-9-57 [on “…Discharge of Weapons Within …Subdivisions”] and 97-37-17 [on “Weapons Possession on Educational Property”] of the Mississippi Code of 1972, …along with …Section 97-37-13, which prohibits providing weapons to minors, and Section 97-37-14, which prohibits the possession of certain handguns by minors.

“Because the projectiles or pellets of Airsoft guns are powered by air, the statutes applicable to air rifles and pistols probably would apply to Airsoft guns, even though the guns are less powerful than conventional air guns. The pertinent provisions of those statutes relating to air guns are as follows:

“Section 17-25-15 allows sport shooting ranges to operate in a city or county if they are located on a tract of land of ten (10) acres or more and with any firing line more than one hundred fifty (150) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property if a shotgun, air rifle or air pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow is discharged.

“Section 45-9-51 provides that counties and cities or municipality may regulate the discharge of firearms within the limits of the county or municipality; however, a county or city may not regulate the discharge of firearms or other weapons in the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the county or city or in an area annexed by the county or municipality, if the firearm or other weapon is a shotgun, air rifle or air pistol, BB gun or bow and arrow discharged on a tract of land of ten (10) acres or more and more than one hundred fifty (150) feet from a residence or occupied building located on another property, and in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile to cross the boundary of the tract.

“Section 45-9-57 provides that counties may regulate the discharge of any firearm or weapon, other than a BB gun, within any platted subdivision.  However, no county may prohibit the discharge of any firearm or weapon on land, if such firearm or weapon is discharged in a manner not reasonably expected to cause a projectile from such firearm or weapon to travel across any property line without permission of the property owner.

“Section 97-37-17 provides that it is a misdemeanor for any person to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol, on educational property, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00, or imprisonment for up to six (6) months, or both.  It also provides that it is a misdemeanor for any person to cause, encourage or aid a minor who is less than eighteen (18) years old to possess or carry, whether openly or concealed, any BB gun, air rifle, air pistol on educational property, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000.00), or imprisonment for up to six (6) months, or both.

“Two other statutes that might be relevant to Airsoft gun possession, use or purchase are as follows:

“Section 97-37-13 makes it unlawful for any person to sell, give or lend to any minor under eighteen (18) years of age any deadly weapon, or other weapon the carrying of which concealed is prohibited, punishable by a fine not more than $1,000.00, or imprisonment for up to one (1) year, or both.

“Section 97-37-14 provides that it is an act of delinquency for any person under age of eighteen (18) years knowingly to have any handgun in such person’s possession. ‘Handgun’ means a pistol, revolver or other firearm of any description, loaded or unloaded, from which any shot, bullet or other missile can be discharged, the length of the barrel of which, not including any revolving, detachable or magazine breech, is less than sixteen (16) inches.  This statute might apply to air pistols with barrels of less than 16 inches, because it is a pistol from which a ‘missile’ can be discharged.”

“Missouri does not specifically regulate airsoft guns. They are not classified as firearms by either state or federal law. One could conceivably attempt a classification of airsoft guns as ‘projectile weapons’ (under the idea that they could cause a serious eye injury), but it is unlikely that the court would find them similar enough to enumerated items like bows, crossbows, and slingshots to adopt this interpretation.  571.010 (15) (defining projectile weapons).

“However, federal law requires that one be 18 or older to purchase airsoft guns over the counter in stores; they may be used by anyone with parental permission, of course.

“Most airsoft guns are marked with orange tips to prevent confusion with real firearms, but this is not strictly mandated by federal law.

“Of course, if one uses an airsoft gun to commit a crime by making someone think it is a real gun, then you can be charged in the same manner as if you threatened the use of a real firearm and if an airsoft gun causes injury that did not involve a consensual game (‘assuming the risk’ – agreement to play a sport or game). Then the person injured could conceivably sue for damages or misdemeanor assault, etc.”[103]

“In 2011, Missouri enacted a law authorizing a municipality to regulate the shooting of pneumatic (Airsoft guns) 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 another 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.

“Most of our state laws/statutes in Missouri pertain to firearms. The laws and rules pertaining to firearms, and their intent of use, are generally quite different from those for airguns. Still, a few sections state restrictions that apply to projectile weapons.

“State law/statute Section 571.010 defines a projectile weapon as ‘any bow, crossbow, pellet gun, slingshot or another weapon that is not a firearm, which is capable of expelling a projectile that could inflict serious physical injury or death by striking or piercing a person.’

“These restrictions generally do not hamper ones right to possess a BB gun, although, it is considered illegal to be in possession of or to discharge a projectile weapon while intoxicated. The court also has the right to confiscate an airgun owned by a gang member.

“Although not illegal to own or shoot, an Airgun could qualify as a dangerous instrument, and illegal, if used to strike someone or shoot an animal or person. It would also be illegal to point an Airsoft gun at another person in an effort to scare them or to make them believe it’s real.

“If otherwise legally possessed, Airsoft guns should only be shot on private property/business with the property owner’s consent, observing all recommended safety precautions and under the supervision of an adult.

“Never bring an Airsoft gun into a School, School Property, or onto a School Bus.

“There are no state laws preventing you from buying an Airsoft gun. Most local towns and Cities have laws restricting ownership and/or possession of Airsoft guns. The City of St. Louis does not have such a law.

“If observed carrying an Airsoft gun in public, the police are likely to take seize the gun for your own safety until they have on opportunity to consult with your parents. This type of welfare check occurs when police observe a juvenile engaging in activity that is dangerous to themselves and/or others.

“[A minor may shoot a gun that has been purchased by someone else,] …but keep in mind …[the] above answer: ‘Airsoft guns should only be shot on private property with the property owner’s consent, observing all recommended safety precautions and, most importantly, under the supervision of an adult.’

“BB guns and Airsoft guns, if not used responsibly, can be dangerous.”[104]

Relevant laws include the following:

Chapter 15.134 USE, PURCHASE OR POSSESSION OF CERTAIN WEAPONS BY MINORS – St. Louis, Missouri – Code of Ordinances.

“15.134.010 – Possession or discharging. No minor under the age of seventeen years shall have in his possession or discharge on the streets or alleys of the city, or in any park, playground or vacant lot, any air rifle, air gun or pistol, spring gun, or gun or rifle containing a gas-propelled cartridge, tear gas gun, vapor gas gun, or any other similar weapon, whether such be classed as a toy or not, which impels with force a metal pellet of any kind; or in the same areas and under the same circumstances, to propel any metal or sharp pointed arrow. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any park or playground wherein archery or target practice are permitted, nor to any vacant lot when at least one adult person is present at the time.

“15.134.020 – Sale of weapons. No dealer or merchant who sells toys, firearms, guns or similar weapons, shall sell, deliver or give any air rifle, air gun or pistol, spring gun, or gun or rifle operated with a gas-propelled cartridge, metal or sharp pointed arrow, tear gas gun, vapor gas gun, or any other similar weapon, to any minor under the age of seventeen years.

“15.134.030 – Parental consent. No person shall sell or deliver, loan or barter, either directly or indirectly, to any minor under the age of twenty-one years, any kind of firearms, bowie knife, spring back knife, razor, metal knuckles, bill, sword cane, dirk, dagger, sling-shot, or other similar deadly weapon, or tear gas gun, vapor gas gun, or any other similar weapon, without the consent of the parent or guardian of the minor.”[105]

“Outside the City of St. Louis, municipalities have restrictions on their possession and use. For instance:

716.135 – Regulation of BB and Pellet Guns. 1. It shall be unlawful for any person under sixteen (16) years of age openly to carry any BB gun or pellet gun on or in any public street, road, highway or park unless accompanied by a person eighteen (18) years of age or older.

“2. It shall be unlawful for any person under sixteen (16) years of age and openly carrying a BB gun or pellet gun to willfully enter or go upon the premises or property of another, or to discharge any BB gun or pellet gun while on the premises or property of another, without having first obtained the written permission from the owner or other person in charge of such premises or property and having said written permission on his person; except, however, this section shall not apply to a person carrying or discharging a BB gun or pellet gun while in the immediate presence and with the consent of the owner or person in charge of the premises or property.

“3. It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge a BB gun or pellet gun in such a manner so as to injure, wound or damage the person or property, real or personal, of another; or in such direction that any projectile expelled strikes, hits, enters or goes through any vehicle, dwelling, residence, or other building; or from or across any street, sidewalk, road, highway, or any park except on a target or practice range. (O. No. 17632, 7-6-95)”[106]

“Airsoft guns are legal in Montana.

“…Federal law requires that you be 18 years old and since federal law supersedes anything we could enact within the state, it would need to be their law that relaxes this requirement.

“You can always shoot a gun that another person has purchased under the supervision of an adult.  For Airsoft type of weapons, federal law may have relaxed this as well.

“Since there will be a layer of federal, state, city and county rules governing the use of airsoft, the best place to go for information that covers them all is the local sheriff’s office.  They are responsible for law enforcement and would therefore be on top of all local state and federal rules around them.”[107]

In greater detail:

“Montana law is silent (meaning there is no specific law) regarding airsoft guns. I would be surprised if this vacuum wasn’t addressed soon by our legislature. …[B]ecause Montana law is silent on replica firearms they are to be treated as ordinary firearms for possession and carrying purposes. Airsoft guns are legal to shoot in Montana. A quick search online reveals that there are several clubs already established in Montana (most of which are west of the continental divide). An airsoft gun can be discharged any place a regular firearm might be discharged. They are not limited to established arenas or ranges.

“Children under the age of fourteen may not possess a firearm in Montana and, under Federal law, persons under 18 may not purchase a firearm. [However, a minor can fire one]…, if under custodial supervision or the supervision of a qualified firearms instructor.

“There is a very important distinction between an airsoft rifle and an airsoft handgun. Because …[Montana] laws are silent on replica firearms, the assumption is that airsoft guns would be treated as firearms. An airsoft handgun could, therefore, be inadvertently concealed and thereby run afoul of our state’s concealed carry laws. These laws are found in title 45, chapter 8 of Montana Code Annotated (MCA). Search MCA 45-8 to find them.

“Further, because they are frequently very accurate representations of real firearms, proper care should be given to their public display. Remember, neither law enforcement nor the citizenry, can immediately recognize the difference between a replica and a real firearm.”[108]

Sec. 18-202. – Possession of b-b guns, spring guns, slingshots, beanies. (a) Prohibition. No person within the city shall have within his or her possession, except within his or her own domicile, or carry or use any air gun, ‘b-b’ gun, gas operated gun or spring gun, or any instrument, toy, or weapon commonly known as a ‘pea shooter,’ ‘slingshot,’ or ‘beanie,’ or any instrument made for the purpose of throwing or projecting missiles of any kind by any means whatsoever except those described in section 18-201, whether such instrument is called by any name set forth in this subsection, or by any other name. The prohibition of this section shall not apply to the possession of an unloaded ‘b-b’ gun, gas operated gun or spring gun by a person, in the daylight hours, when going from his domicile to a point outside the city or returning from a point outside the city to his domicile. Nothing contained in this section shall prevent a person from using such instrument in the lawful defense of his or her person, property or family. (b) Forfeiture of weapons. Every person convicted of a violation of subsection (a) shall forfeit to the city the weapons or instruments so involved in the violation of this section. (c) Disposition of confiscated weapons. Every police officer, upon making any arrest and taking weapons used in violation of subsection (a) shall deliver the same to the city judge to be held by him or her until the final determination of the prosecution of the offense. Upon the finding of guilt, it shall then be the duty of the judge to cause the weapons to be delivered to the city administrator who shall make disposition of the weapons. (Code 1967, §10.44.020)

Sec. 18-203. – Sale or transfer of ‘b-b’ guns, spring guns, slingshots, beanies, to persons under eighteen years of age. (a) It is unlawful for any person engaged in the business of selling or renting, to sell, lend, rent, give or otherwise transfer an airgun, ‘b-b’ gun, gas operated gun or spring gun, or any instrument, toy or weapon, commonly known as a ‘pea shooter,’ ‘slingshot’ or ‘beanie’ to any person under the age of eighteen (18) years where the dealer knows or has reasonable cause to believe the person to be under eighteen (18) years of age or where such dealer has failed to make reasonable inquiry relative to the age of such person and such person is under eighteen (18) years of age. (b) It is unlawful for any person to give, lend or otherwise transfer any airgun, ‘b-b’ gun, gas operated gun or spring gun, or any instrument, toy or weapon, commonly known as a ‘pea shooter,’ ‘slingshot’ or ‘beanie,’ to any person under eighteen (18) years of age except where the relationship of parent and child, guardian and ward, or adult instructor and pupil exists between such person and the person under eighteen (18) years of age.”[109]

“Per federal and State law[,] Airsoft guns are not considered to be firearms and therefore are not nearly as tightly regulated. At the federal level[,] the only major requirement placed on them is that the manufacturer must place a blaze-orange piece at least 6 mm in length at the end of the barrel. This requirement only applies to the manufacturer, however.

“At the State level in Nebraska we do not have any laws that place restrictions on the use or purchase of Airsoft guns. They can be purchased by individuals of any age and shot anywhere within reason. If you damage property, etc. while shooting your Airsoft gun you would still be liable for the damage[,] for example. So common sense should be used in determining where to shoot them.

“In previous Legislative Sessions there have been bills introduced that would place increased restrictions on the usage and purchase of Airsoft guns. None of these bills have passed; however, other states have passed similar laws that set the age to purchase one at eighteen, define them as firearms, or other restrictions.

“Some localities in Nebraska do have ordinances that restrict the use of Airsoft guns, Lincoln being the major one.”[110]

“Airsoft rifles and BB guns classify neither as handguns nor as long guns. Therefore, Nebraska’s gun laws generally do not apply to airsoft guns, BB guns or pellet guns.  …In regards to Nebraska state statutes, there are a five additional things you should think about. 1)  LB14 introduced by Sen. Bob Krist back on January 8, 2015[111] during the 104th Legislature was a bill which would have made facsimile guns (that is, look-alike-guns) essentially the same as using any other kind of firearm.  So, if a person were to rob a bank with an airsoft gun or a BB gun, …[LB14 would have made the act the] equivalent …[of] robbing …[a] bank with a .22 caliber handgun or a 12 gauge shotgun. However, this bill was indefinitely postponed on April 20th 2016, so it never became law. 2) While Nebraska State Statute 28-1204.04 …does not specifically prohibit a person from bringing an airsoft gun or an air rifle onto school grounds, it does prohibit firearms. Nevertheless, nothing even remotely resembling a gun should ever be brought to school or enter onto school grounds. This action would likely land a person in handcuffs, scare students and teachers, and it would probably even get that person’s name negatively plastered all over the national news media.”[112]

In fact, “…the Nebraska State Patrol …[indicates that] …[a]n Airsoft [gun] is treated as a toy. It does not fall under the definition of ‘firearm’ in Nebraska law, nor is it applicable to laws regarding concealed weapons or minimum purchase age. However, if it is misused, there could be repercussions. Furthermore, if you live within a city, there may be city ordinances that restrict its use. Therefore, I would suggest that you contact your local police department.”[113]

One relevant statute seems to be NRS 202.265[114] which covers “Possession of dangerous weapon on property or in vehicle of school or child care facility; penalty; exceptions.” It provides:

“1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not carry or possess 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: …(e) A pneumatic gun; (f) A pistol, revolver or other firearm; or (g) Any device used to mark any part of a person with paint or any other substance.

“2. Any person who violates subsection 1 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. …4. The provisions of this section apply to a child care facility located at or in the home of a natural person only during the normal hours of business of the facility.

“5. For the purposes of this section: …(c) ‘Pneumatic gun’ means 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.”[115]

The information for the State of Nevada was reiterated with respect to Las Vegas. “‘Pneumatic gun’ means 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. NRS 202.265(5)(c).

“‘Firearm’ means any device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile may be expelled through the barrel by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. NRS 202.253(2); see also NRS 62A.130. A firearm is a deadly weapon whether loaded or unloaded, operable or inoperable.”[116]

In Las Vegas: “Airsoft is not illegal to own or shoot. But do understand. If you are shooting it in your own backyard be very careful of damaging neighbor’s property. …[Las Vegas Police Department gets] service calls of kids breaking windows and other property with airsoft. If you choice to find a desert to [shoot] in. I’d have Mom and Dad with you. A lot of airsoft look like real guns and people do call 911 when they see kids in desert areas with what appear to be real guns. …

“I haven’t found a law requiring a purchase age. But, [a] business may make an ethical decision not to sell airsoft to a minor without a parent.

“…You can shot airsoft at any age, [b]ut, Mom and Dad have Parental Rights to allow or not allow you to.

“…No Laws currently cover airsoft. With the exception of using one in the commission of a crime. (example: Robbery)”[117]

According to state law (Title 62 of the criminal code, Section 644:14), in the section called “Breaches of the Peace and Related Offenses” there is a paragraph with the heading “Selling Air Rifles or Paint Ball Guns to Young Persons.” It reads: “If any person shall sell, barter, rent, lend, or give an air rifle or paint ball gun to a person under the age of 18, without the written consent of the parent or guardian, as the case may be, such person shall be guilty of a violation. Air rifles and paint ball guns may be used in New Hampshire only in the home of the person under 18 under parental supervision or on an approved range under responsible adult supervision. Air rifles or paint ball guns may be possessed by a person under 18 only in his or her own home under parental supervision or on the way to or from an approved range that is under the supervision of a responsible adult such as an instructor in gun safety or marksmanship.”[118]

“According to New Jersey Statute 2C:39-1,[130] an airsoft gun is considered a ‘firearm’ because it is a weapon that can shoot any ‘solid projected ball, slug, pellet, missile, or bullet… with sufficient force to injure a person.’ …

“Consequently, airsoft guns are subject to the same regulations as handguns and other traditional firearms. In order to legally own a firearm, you have to be at least 18 years old and must have a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card issued by your local police department. Possessing a firearm unlawfully will be subject to a third-degree felony in the State of New Jersey.

“For information regarding regulations concerning the use of airsoft guns, I suggest that you contact your local police department. They are the best source for this information that can vary by municipality.”[119]

“There are simply no state statutes covering Airsoft guns. However, depending on how an air gun is used, i.e., for a violent purpose, then air gun use could be subject to the same criminal statutes prohibiting use of deadly weapons. On a side note, there is a regulation that would prohibit carrying weapons, likely including air guns, on the state fairgrounds.”[120]

“…In accordance with New York State Penal Law Article 265 Section 265.01, it is a crime in New York State [for anyone under 16 years of age] to possess a rifle, shotgun, air gun (including BB gun), spring gun, or other firearm[. Furthermore, it is not permitted to bring any such gun] …in the buildings or on the grounds of any school, college or university… .

“Federal Law states that an individual must be eighteen years of age to purchase an airsoft gun. [Those under 12 – Ed.] …cannot shoot one that someone who is old enough bought. …[They] also cannot purchase one in New York City. …[I]t is illegal to own or purchase a[n] airsoft gun in New York City.”[121]

However, minors between 12 and 16 years of age are permitted to “possess” air guns for the purposes “loading and firing” said guns, provided that the minor is “under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of …a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian” who is qualified in the operation of the weapon.

“Your local municipality, (your town, village, or city) might have specific laws about how far you have to be from a dwelling or a school, to shoot or hunt.  You can contact your clerk for those answers.”[122]

In greater detail:

According to New York State “Penal Law 265.05[:] ‘It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of sixteen to possess any air-gun, spring-gun or other instrument or weapon in which the propelling force is a spring or air… . A person who violates the provisions of this section shall be adjudged a juvenile delinquent. …

“General Business Law § 399-R[,] GBS Amendments[,] Article 26 …is specific to paint pellets being delivered and includes air type guns. This law makes it clear that no one under 16 may purchase …[a] ‘gun, air gun, pistol, rifle, or like device’.

“General Business Law – 871 describes the ways ‘toy guns’ must be marked to be safe and legal.

“‘1. Firearm as used in this section shall have the same meaning as that term is defined by subdivision three of section 265.00 of the penal law and shall include machine guns, rifles and shotguns as those terms are defined by subdivisions one, eleven and twelve, respectively, of section 265.00 of the penal law.

“‘2. Imitation weapon means any device or object made of plastic, wood, metal or any other material which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm, air rifle, pellet gun, or “B-B” gun;  unless such imitation weapon (a) is colored other than black, blue, silver or aluminum, (b) is marked with a non-removable orange stripe which is at least one inch in width and runs the entire length of the barrel on each side and the front end of the barrel, and (c) has a barrel at least one inch in diameter that is closed for a distance of not less than one-half inch from the front-end of its barrel with the same material of which the imitation weapon is made. Imitation weapon does not include any nonfiring replica of an antique firearm, the original of which was designed, manufactured and produced prior to eighteen hundred ninety-eight.’ …”[123]

However, “Penal Law 265.20” does have “Exemptions” that allow those between the ages of 12 and 16 to “possess” air guns under certain circumstances. For instance: “…If you are being trained by someone qualified and you are over 12 but under 16, you can load and fire a rifle, pistol or shotgun…”

The exemptions read: “7-c. Possession for the purpose of loading and firing, of a rifle, pistol or shotgun, the propelling force of which may be either air, compressed gas or springs, by a person under sixteen years of age but not under twelve, under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of (a) a duly commissioned officer of the United States army, navy, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York;  or (b) a duly qualified adult citizen of the United States who has been granted a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice issued by the United States army, navy or marine corps, or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of this state;  or (c) a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian who shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental conservation.

“7-d. Possession, at an indoor or outdoor shooting range for the purpose of loading and firing, of a rifle, pistol or shotgun, the propelling force of which may be either air, compressed gas or springs, by a person under twelve years of age, under the immediate supervision, guidance and instruction of (a) a duly commissioned officer of the United States army, navy, marine corps or coast guard, or of the national guard of the state of New York;  or (b) a duly qualified adult citizen of the United States who has been granted a certificate as an instructor in small arms practice issued by the United States army, navy or marine corps, or by the adjutant general of this state, or by the national rifle association of America, a not-for-profit corporation duly organized under the laws of this state;  or (c) a parent, guardian, or a person over the age of eighteen designated in writing by such parent or guardian who shall have a certificate of qualification in responsible hunting, including safety, ethics, and landowner relations-hunter relations, issued or honored by the department of environmental conservation.”[124]

“New York City prohibits [see New York City Administrative Code 10-131 – Firearms] the sale or possession of any air pistol or air rifle (defined as any instrument in which the propelling force is air or a spring) without an appropriate license. Persons who are licensed by the city to sell air pistols and rifles may do so only if they deliver the weapons to a location outside the city or the transferee has an air pistol or rifle license. However, the use of air pistols and rifles in connection with ‘an amusement licensed by the department of consumer affairs’ or at a shooting range is permitted. …”[125]

In greater detail:

“New York City Administrative Code Section 10-131(b)(1) provides, in part, that: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell or have in such person’s possession any air pistol or air rifle or similar instrument in which the propelling force is a spring or air… .’  [Note: Under this particular section, there may be an exception ‘…for the use of such instruments in connection with an amusement licensed by the (NYC) Department of Consumer Affairs or at rifle or pistol ranges duly authorized by law.’]

“New York City Administrative Code Section 10-131(g)(1) provides, in part, that: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person to…possess…any toy or imitation firearm which substantially duplicates or can reasonably be perceived to be an actual firearm. …’  [Note: This particular section may provide exceptions with respect to materials, colors, construction and identifying makings.]

“New York State Penal Law Section 265.05 – Unlawful Possession of weapons by persons under sixteen – states, in part: ‘It shall be unlawful for any person under the age of sixteen to possess any air-gun….’ [Note:  Under this particular section, there may be an exception under circumstances permitted Article Eleven of the New York State Environmental Conservation Law for an individual who holds a hunting license or permit issued pursuant to that law.]

“New York State Penal Law Section 265.01(2) states, in part, that: ‘A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when he or she possesses any…imitation pistol or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon with intent to use the same unlawfully against another. [Note:  Section 265.15(4) of the NYS Penal Law, with reference to Section 265.01(2), states, in part, that: ‘The possession by any person of any…weapon, instrument, appliance or substance designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent to use the same unlawfully against another.’”[126]

Since the situation in New York City is somewhat subtle, the representative for the NYPD’s legal bureau suggest that curious readers “…consult with an attorney who is familiar with New York criminal law to give …[them] guidance.”

“There is no NC Statute specifically pertaining to ‘airsoft’ rifles or pistols. G.S. 14-316 …does make it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person to knowingly permit a child under the age of 12 years to have access to, or possession, custody or use in any manner whatever, of any gun, pistol or other dangerous firearm. The statute also provides that in the counties of Caldwell, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Haywood, Mecklenburg, Stokes, Union, and Vance, the term ‘dangerous firearms’ includes air rifles, air pistols, and BB guns.”[127]

“Airsoft guns are spring- or air-powered guns designed to fire round plastic projectiles, usually at muzzle velocities of approximately 300 feet per second. Some airsoft gun[s] are designed to replicate the appearance of genuine firearms. Generally, an airsoft gun does not meet the definition of a firearm in criminal statutes[,] however an airsoft gun should not be carried concealed, taken onto educational property, or fired in areas where a local ordinance bans that conduct. Furthermore, using an airsoft gun to hurt, threaten, or rob another person may result in serious criminal charges. …[We cannot] offer legal advice[,] but when in doubt, it is best to ask the appropriate law enforcement agency prior to [engaging in] the [contemplated]activity.”

“Some relevant statutes:

“G.S. 14-316… Permitting young children to use dangerous firearms. … G. S. 14-316 prohibits anyone from allowing a child under the age of twelve (12) to access a dangerous firearm but air rifles, air pistols, and BB guns are not considered “dangerous firearms” in most of North Carolina’s counties. (Air rifles, air pistols, and BB guns are considered “dangerous” in Caldwell, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Haywood, Mecklenburg, Stokes, Union and Vance Counties.)

“G.S. 14-269… § 14-269. Carrying concealed weapons. …It is probably unlawful to carry an airsoft gun concealed pursuant to G. S. 14-269(a) although I am not aware of a criminal court opinion exactly on point.

“G.S. 14-269.2… Weapons on campus or other educational property. …It is unlawful to have a BB gun, air rifle, or air pistol on an education property. Possessing an airsoft gun at a school is Class 1 misdemeanor pursuant to G. S. 14-269.2(d).

“G.S. 160A-189… Firearms. …Local municipalities are authorized to regulate, restrict, or prohibit the discharge of firearms pursuant to G. S. 160A-189. For instance, it is unlawful to possess a weapon as defined in G. S. 14-269 in town-owned buildings, premises, and parks in the town of Davidson.”[128]

“Under ND Century Code (This is the list of state laws that govern us) 62.1-01-01 General Definitions, an Airsoft gun would be considered a dangerous weapon. ‘… 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 CO2 gun;’

“While an Airsoft gun is not considered a firearm by the Federal government, it is considered a deadly weapon on the Federal level and in North Dakota.  Therefore, under the Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. 922(b)(1) and (b)(2)27 CFR 478.99(b)) it must be purchased by an adult age 18 or older. Under ND Century Code 62.1-02-07, anyone under 15 who carries or uses a firearm of any description (this includes BB guns and Airsoft guns) is to be under the supervision of a parent, guardian or other authorized person.  It is a Class B misdemeanor if supervision is not provided for people under 15.  A Class B misdemeanor penalty is spending no more than 30 days in jail and a fine no more than $1500 (not meant to scare you, just for a point of reference).  It is legal in the US for anyone of any age to possess and use an Airsoft gun.

“It is legal to shoot and possess Airsoft guns in North Dakota. Under ND Century Codes 62.1-02-04 and 62.1-02-05 it is illegal to bring a firearm or dangerous weapon into liquor stores, bars, bingo parlors, and public gatherings such as sporting events, schools, churches and public buildings like libraries, city hall, etc. It is a Class B Misdemeanor to bring an Airsoft gun into any of these locations. There are exceptions to these laws for law enforcement.

“It is legal to shoot Airsoft guns in North Dakota. However, they cannot be legally shot within city limits, according to ND Century Code 62.1-02-06.  It is a Class B misdemeanor to shoot an Airsoft gun in city limits, unless it is being done at an indoor or outdoor gun range.  There is an exception to this law for law enforcement and if a citizen is defending their personal safety.

There are some states that have laws specific to Airsoft guns. In Minnesota for example, it is illegal for [a] person under the age of 14 to use one.  There are also some cities that have ordinances about them as well. In Minneapolis, MN, it is illegal to carry an Airsoft gun that does not have an orange tip on the end of the barrel. North Dakota does not have any laws like these, but knowing the firearm and weapons laws for other states you may be traveling to is important if you are taking a fire arm or other weapon with you.  Also, not knowing if you live within the city limits of a town, you will want to check into any local city ordinances regarding Airsoft or similar brand air guns.”[129]

Summary – What laws regulate Airsoft?

“Federally: The 2nd Amendment and Gun Control Act[;]

“North Dakota: Title 62.1 of the North Dakota Century Code[;]

“City: You will need to check with the community you live in[.]”[130]

“Air Soft guns are not regulated in state law, except for ORC 2908.08 which says they cannot be discharged at aircraft.  That means that if there are regulations related to Air Soft guns, they would be at the local level.”

Various municipalities handle Airsoft differently. Possibily representative are “two ordinances” from the town of Luckey “that deal with these types of guns…: 549.08  DISCHARGING FIREARMS. (a) No person shall discharge any air gun, rifle, shotgun, revolver, pistol or other firearm within the corporate limits of the Municipality. (b) This section does not apply when firearms are used in self defense, in the discharge of official duty or when otherwise lawfully authorized. (c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. 549.12  SALES TO MINORS. (a) No person shall recklessly sell any deadly weapon or other weapon to anyone who is under eighteen (18) years of age. (b) Definitions: (1) ‘Deadly weapon’ means any instrument, device, or thing capable of inflicting death, and designed or specifically adapted for use as a weapon, or possessed, carried, or used as a weapon. (2) ‘Other weapons’ means any BB gun , air gun , firearm, sling, bow and arrow, crossbow, or similar device. (c) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a felony to be prosecuted under appropriate state law if the weapon is a firearm, handgun, or dangerous ordinance.  If the weapon is another weapon as defined herein, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.”[131]

“Airsoft guns, also known as non-powder guns, may be purchased over the counter in Oklahoma by a person 18 years of age or older. However, some retailers may choose to impose additional restrictions for purchasing an airsoft gun.  Federal law does not classify airsoft guns as firearms so a person of any age may use one – with permission from a parent if the user of the airsoft gun is under 18 years of age.

“Where an airsoft gun may be shot depends on where you live. Currently, there are no specific provisions in Oklahoma’s state statutes that prohibit where airsoft guns may be shot. However, the city/town in which you live may provide certain restrictions on airsoft guns.  You will need to contact the city in which you live to obtain the specific ordinances that regulate the use of airsoft guns within city limits.

“Oklahoma has a state statute that specifically prohibits certain individuals from possessing firearms and other weapons. Title 21, Section 1283[132] makes it unlawful for convicted felons and juvenile delinquents to have ‘in his or her possession or under his or her immediate control, or in any vehicle which the person is driving or in which the person is riding as a passenger, or at the residence of the person, any pistol, imitation or homemade pistol, altered air or toy pistol, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun or rifle, or any other dangerous or deadly firearm.’ The statute defines ‘altered air pistol’ as ‘any air pistol manufactured to propel projectiles by air pressure which has been altered from its original manufactured state.’”[133]

“Please be advised that [according to Oklahoma Municipal Code] § 30-305(a) …it is illegal for a minor to use or be in possession of any air gun.”[134] “§ 30-305. – Sale to or possession of weapons by minors. (a) No minor shall carry, discharge, use or be in possession of any airgun, gas-operated gun, bow, sling-type instrument or any other offensive weapon. (b) No person shall sell to a minor any of the weapons named in Subsection (a).”

“Airsoft guns are legal in Oregon, though …[they may] not [be] legal to shoot inside the city limits of any city. Lake Oswego has a law that specifically calls them out.”[135] “[S]tate law does not regulate Airsoft guns.  Most state firearm regulations are in ORS 166.170 through 166.743 [sic].[136]  Local ordinances may apply.”[137]

IN greater detail: “Oregon does not regulate the possession of Airsoft guns at the state level. State law regulates possession of powder guns, not air powered guns. See ORS 166.210(3).  However, certain cities/municipalities or counties may have their own ordinances regarding such weapons within city or county lines.  For instance, the city of Lake Oswego prohibits firing any projectile weapon within the city.  You and your dad should check with the localities in which you will be using the Airsoft guns on any local laws.  Also, as noted below, the state does prohibit the discharge of air rifles and air guns at certain places like roads, airports and trains.

“The Federal government also requires that such guns ‘1) have a permanently affixed blaze-orange plug inserted in the firearm’s barrel, (2) have a similar marking on the exterior of the barrel, (3) be constructed entirely of transparent or translucent materials, or (4) be covered in certain bright colors.’

“Nearby states do regulate Airsoft guns. For example, Washington and California both have a minimum age of 18 – and CA has even more restrictions on the color schemes of the guns beyond the Federal blaze-orange tip requirement, so please be careful where you travel with any Airsoft gun.

“…[It is] important …to keep the blaze-orange barrel tips on such guns. It is all too easy for a citizen or law enforcement to confuse an Airsoft gun with a real gun – with the potential for a dangerous or even deadly encounter to result. ”[138]

Can Airsoft guns only be shot in certain places?

“In some cases, yes – as mentioned above, some cities have prohibited firing them in city limits. Always check the city and county ordinances where you wish to fire these weapons prior to doing so. Also, state law does prohibit firing air guns on or across a public road, highway, ocean shore recreation area, or a public utility facility. See ORS 166.630. State law also prohibits shooting at trains (ORS 166.635) and shooting any air guns (and other weapons) at airports (ORS 166.638).

Do I have to be a certain age to buy one myself?

“Not under OR state law. Localities or individual stores might set their own ordinances or policies.”

Could I shoot one that someone bought who is old enough?

“Again, this is not regulated by OR state law. It is possible that a locality may have ordinances that have age requirements. Always check the city and county ordinances where you wish to fire these weapons prior to doing so.”

Airsoft guns are currently legal in Pennsylvania, “…if you obey the law.”. However there has been rumble that PA wants to pass a different law. Banning Airsoft guns in general. Bill HB2216 has a petition going around hoping to ban this law. You can sign that here.

Can they only be shot in certain places?

“Yes[:] (b) Carrying or discharging air rifles.- (2) lt shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any air rifle from or across any highway or public land or any public place, except on a properly constructed target range.(1) (c) Exceptions.– (iii) used in or on any private grounds or residence under circumstances when such air rifle can be fired, discharged or operated in such a manner as not to endanger persons or property, and then only, if it is used in such manner as to prevent the projectile from transversing [sic] any grounds or space outside the limits of such grounds or residence.

Do you have to be a certain age to buy one?

“Yes[;] (a) Sale or transfer of air rifles.– (l) It shall be unlawfiul for any dealer to sell, lend, rent, give, or otherwise transfer an air rifle to any person under the age of l8 years, where the dealer knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, the person to be under 18 years of age, or where such dealer has failed to make reasonable inquiry relative to the age of such person, and such person is under 18 years of age. (2) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give, lend, or otherwise transfer any air rifle to any person under l8 years of age, except where the relationship of parent and child, guardian and ward or adult instructor and pupil exists between such person and the person under l8 years of age.

If you are a minor, can you shoot an Airsoft gun that someone bought who is old enough?

“Yes[;] (c) Exceptions.– (l) Nothing in this section shall make it unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to have in his possession any air rifle, if it is: (i) kept within his domicile; (ii) used by the person under l8 years of age and he is a duly enrolled member of any club, team or society organized for educational purposes and maintaining as part of its facilities or having written permission to use an indoor or outdoor rifle range under the supervision, guidance and instruction of a responsible adult, and then only, if said air rifle is actually being used in connection with the activities of said club, team or society under the supervision of a responsible adult…

“[There is n]o pending legislation[.]”

In greater detail:

The governing statute is Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes “18 S 6304. Sale and use of air rifles.

“(a) Sale or transfer of air rifles.- (1) lt shall be unlawful for any dealer to sell, lend, rent, give, or otherwise transfer an air rifle to any person under the age of 18 years… (2) lt shall be unlawful for any person to sell, give, lend, or otherwise transfer any air rifle to any person under 18 years of age, except where the relationship of parent and child, guardian and ward or adult instructor and pupil exists between such person and the person under 18 years of age.

“(b) Carrying or discharging air rifles.- (1) It shall be unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to carry any air rifle on the highways or public lands unless accompanied by an adult, except that a person under 18 years of age may carry such rifle unloaded in a suitable case or securely wrapped. (2) It shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any air rifle from or across any highway or public land or any public place, except on a properly constructed target range.

“(c) Exceptions.- (1) Nothing in this section shall make it unlawful for any person under 18 years of age to have in his possession any air rifle, if it is: (i) kept within his domicile; (ii) used by the person under 18 years of age and he is a duly enrolled member of any club, team or society organized for educational purposes and maintaining as part of its facilities or having written permission to use an indoor or outdoor rifle range under the supervision, guidance and instruction of a responsible adult, and then only, if said air rifle is actually being used in connection with the activities of said club, team or society under the supervision of a responsible adult; or (iii) used in or on any private grounds or residence under circumstances when such air rifle can be fired, discharged or operated in such a manner as not to endanger persons or property, and then only, if it is used in such manner as to prevent the projectile from transversing any grounds or space outside the limits of such grounds or residence. …

“(d) Seizure.-Any law enforcement officer may seize, take, remove or cause to be removed, at the expense of the owner, all air rifles used or offered for sale in violation of this section.

“(e) No preemption.-The provisions of any ordinance enacted by any political subdivision which impose greater restrictions or limitations in respect to the sale and purchase, use or possession of air rifles, than is imposed by this section, shall not be invalidated or affected by this section.

(f) Grading.–Any dealer violating the provisions of paragraph (a)(1) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree. Any person violating any other provision of this section shall be guilty of a summary offense.

(g) Definitions.–As used in this section the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection: ‘Air rifle.’ Any 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 as defined in section 2707.2 (relating to paintball guns and paintball markers).[139]

Airsoft guns are legal in Rhode Island, but there are restrictions in terms of where they can be fired. “You can [buy] them on your own most places.”[140] There are also age-based restrictions on who can purchase an air gun, though minors can shoot them with the permission of guardians or parents.[141] “While they tend to be soft plastic pellets, you shouldn’t shoot anyone with them at close range. You should also always wear eye protection when using airsoft guns. I don’t know if there is any specific law that covers airsoft, rather, I don’t think that is any law that prohibits them.”

In greater detail:

“Airsoft guns are legal in Rhode Island they are commonly used recreationally, in a manner similar to ‘paint ball’ guns, the only difference being that the projectile that a airsoft gun uses is a 6mm ball of varying varieties of hard plastic and a paint ball guns uses 17-18mm soft shelled ball filled with paint.

“Designated airsoft arenas and personal property are fine, public places are not. A good rule of thumb would be to not use your airsoft gun in any place where the general public may reasonably believe that you have a real gun. One should also consider that while personal property is an acceptable place to operate an airsoft gun the user should be mindful of any projectile that leaves the property, as well as what neighbors may witness. Giving neighbors a heads up would be the best course of action to prevent any misunderstands that would lead to the police being called.

“However[,] cities and towns have the ability to limit or expand the areas where airsoft guns may be used so checking with your local town/city would be wise.

“In order to buy an airsoft gun you must be 18.

“…[A] minor may operate an airsoft gun but the minor should be under the supervision of a parent, or the airsoft arena operator, or other qualified adult. ‘Qualified adults’ are defined as anyone 21 years of age or older who are permitted to use a airsoft gun.

“Further it is important to recognize that a parent may be held (civilly) liable for the misuse of an airsoft gun by a child. Thus highlighting the reasoning behind supervision. …

“Rhode island laws for airsoft can be found in the ‘Rhode Island General Laws’ (RIGL) Title 11, Chapter 47.

§ 11-47-2. Definitions. …(3) ‘Firearm’ includes any machine gun, pistol, rifle, air rifle, air pistol, ‘blank gun,’ ‘BB gun,’ or other instrument from which steel or metal projectiles are propelled, or which may readily be converted to expel a projectile, except crossbows, recurve, compound, or longbows, and except instruments propelling projectiles which are designed or normally used for a primary purpose other than as a weapon. The frame or receiver of the weapon shall be construed as a firearm under the provisions of this section. …

“Because the projectile that a airsoft gun uses is not metal, an airsoft gun is ultimately regarded as a toy, and not a ‘Firearm.’”[142]

Air guns are mainly mentioned in Title 11 (“Criminal Offenses”), Chapter 11-47 (“Weapons”).

Section 11-47-5.1 (“Larceny of a firearm”): “(a) Every person who shall steal any firearm shall be deemed guilty of larceny. ‘Firearm,’ as utilized in this section only, shall not apply to an air rifle, air pistol, ‘blank gun,’ or ‘BB gun.’ …”

Section 11-47-31 (“Sale, transfer or delivery of ammunition to minors”): “(a) It shall be unlawful within this state for any person to sell, transfer, give, convey, or cause to be sold, transferred, given or conveyed any ammunition, including any priming charge of powder, propelling charge of powder, or any form of missile or projectile to be ejected from a firearm to any person under eighteen (18) years of age when the person knows or has reason to know that the recipient is under eighteen (18) years of age, except for the limited purposes set forth in §§ 11-47-33 and 11-47-34 and with the prior approval or consent of the parent or legal guardian of the minor.”

One respondent wrote: “Based upon a review of the South Carolina state law, there is no statute that specifically deals with the regulation of airsoft guns. However, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) does prohibit the use of airsoft guns on certain wildlife management areas throughout the state. Please know that municipal and/or county ordinances throughout the state likely exist regarding the proper use of airsoft guns.”

In South Carolina, most “…laws have more to do with the possession/use of …[Airsoft guns] while committing a crime. …[A]lso[,] …a person or business can prohibit use of them on their property. Otherwise, all Federal Laws apply.”[143]

According to Giffords.org: “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. …Persons using areas specifically designated by the Department for the use of air guns, and concealable weapons permit holders, are exempt from the prohibition. …”[144]

Otherwise, “South Carolina has no other laws regulating non-powder guns.”[145]

“First, the way the federal regulations are written, only someone who is 18 or older can purchase an AirSoft BB gun.  …[R]etailers can add additional restriction like be 21 to purchase AirSoft pistols or restrict CO2 Cartridges.  Because they are not firearm[s], anyone can use them[;] there is no age restriction.

“There is not a law specifically dealing with AirSoft guns [in South Dakota]. [H]owever many state parks have regulations about discharging any type weapon. Please check with the individual park office.  …[C]ommitting a crime with an AirSoft gun or anything that resembles a real weapon, can get you charged with a crime as though you used the real thing.

“Minnehaha County does not allow any shooting of any kind in their parks, unless you get a permit from the parks board.  [O]therwise there isn’t much about using AirSoft guns [in South Dakota laws].

“Of the cities and towns in Minnehaha County, …laws vary.  [S]ome allow shooting [in] specific places, others complete[ly] ban discharging anything, including throwing a rock. [Y]ou might need to get a permit to shoot in various places please check with the individual city or town hall. Most of the ordinances are on line.

“On a safety note, some of the AirSoft bb guns look very much like real firearms.  In a low visibility situation, an AirSoft bb gun could be easily mistaken for a real gun …and provoke extreme responses from law enforcement and by standers. …

“[C]heck with [your] local city hall, and follow the rules.”[146]

“Airsoft guns are legal in the State of Tennessee. …They are not limited to certain areas, unless there is signage in place prohibiting there use.

“There [are] no [state-specific] age restrictions.

“…[F]ederal law (15 U.S.C. 5001) that requires any imitation firearm, specifically including air-soft guns, to have an orange plug or other marking that indicates that the item is not a real firearm.  In addition, that statute allows each state to prohibit purchase of an air-soft gun by someone under 18 years old, but Tennessee has not done so.

“There is one Tennessee criminal statute that deals with imitation firearms, which would likely include an air-soft gun. TCA Section 39-17-1362 creates a Class B misdemeanor when a person “intentionally displays in a threatening manner an imitation firearm in a public place in a way that would cause a reasonable person to fear bodily injury to themselves or another.”[147]

Airsoft guns are partially regulated by Texas Local Government Code, Title 7, Subtitle A, Chapter 229, Subchapter A, Section 229.001. Basically, this portion of code covers the “Regulation of Firearms, Knives, and Explosives.” Sec. 229.001(a) says that “a municipality may not adopt regulations relating to: (1) the transfer, private ownership, keeping, transportation, licensing, or registration of firearms, air guns, …or firearm or air gun supplies; or (2)  the discharge of a firearm or air gun at a sport shooting range.”

However, Sec. 229.001(b) “a municipality” may “(2) regulate the discharge of firearms or air guns within the limits of the municipality, other than at a sport shooting range; …(4) regulate the use of firearms, air  guns, or knives in the case of an insurrection, riot, or natural disaster… (6) regulate the carrying of a firearm or air gun …at a: (A) public park; (B) public meeting of a municipality, county, or other governmental body; (C) political rally, parade, or official political meeting; or (D) nonfirearms-related school, college, or professional athletic event; …[and] (8) regulate the carrying of an air gun by a minor on: (A)  public property; or (B)  private property without consent of the property owner.”

Exceptions are made for fishing, hunting, and traveling back and forth from designated areas. The rest of the relevant subsection seems mostly to do with preventing municipalities from restricting air-gun use on tracts of land (variously 10+ or 100+ acres), provided that the discharge of the weapon is not less than some minimally prescribed distance (variously 150, 600 or 1,000 feet) from another property, a public area, or the like of those.

However, Section 235.001ff permits municipalities from regulating air-gun use on tracts of land less than 10 acres.[148]

For details, see the above-cited regulations. For legal advice, consult an attorney!

Note: “…a few towns and cities in Texas passed laws prohibiting  the public display of pellet and BB guns or making it illegal for minors to have them.”[149]

In 2003 “the …city of Plano passed a law making it a misdemeanor to brandish an air gun or other type of facsimile firearm in a public place.”[150]

“Utah has no state laws governing Airsoft guns other than the federal law requiring the orange tip and the lack of any law requiring the tip to remain on the gun. However, the cities of North Ogden, Ogden, Centerville, South Jordan and South Ogden have laws prohibiting ownership of Airsoft guns.”[151]

“There are no laws that cover Airsoft or BB guns.”[152]

In greater detail:

“First, Vermont firearms laws (including the new laws passed in 2018) do not apply to Airsoft or BB guns. Vermont firearms laws apply only to weapons which expel a projectile by the ‘action of explosion.’ Airsoft and BB guns do not use explosives, so they are for the most part not covered by Vermont firearms statutes.

“Under state law there are no restrictions on where they are fired, however you should always check the local town ordinance to be sure (for example, South Burlington has an ordinance prohibiting firing weapons within the city limits.

“There are no age restrictions on purchasing Airsoft or BB guns under state law, but stores might have their own age limits.”[153]

“After the Virginia Legislature (House and Senate) passes a bill, it goes to the Governor, and if he signs it, it becomes law and is made part of the ‘Code of Virginia.’ There are two code sections that deal with airsoft guns – which are called pneumatic guns under the Code.

“The first code section § 22.1-277.07 provides that a school board shall expel a student for a period of not less than one year if the student brings a pneumatic gun on school property or at a school-sponsored activity.

“The second code section § 15.2-915.4 grants the authority to localities to prohibit the shooting of pneumatic guns and may require an adult to supervise a minor’s use of such gun. So, you should also check with the local authorities to see if there are any local ordinance restrictions on airsoft guns.”[154]

Air gun possession is governed by Title 24, Section 2301 of the Washington, D.C. Municipal Regulations, regarding “Possession of Weapons.” It specifies:

“2301.1 – No person under the age of eighteen (18) years shall carry or have in his or her possession upon any street, avenue, road, alley, park, or other public space in the District, any gun, pistol, rifle, bean shooter, sling, projectile, dart, or other dangerous weapon of any character.

“2301.2 – Nothing in this section shall be construed as to prohibit a member of a duly authorized military organization from the proper use of the guns and other equipment used as a member of the organization.

“2301.3 – It shall not be lawful for any person to carry or have in his or her possession outside any building in the District an air rifle, air gun, air pistol, B-B gun, spring gun, blowgun, bowgun, or any similar type gun.

“2301.4 – Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the transportation of an air rifle, air gun, air pistol, B-B gun, spring, gun, blowgun, or bowgun, unloaded and securely wrapped, by a person who is eighteen (18) or more years of age.

“2301.5 – Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the use of an air rifle, air gun, air pistol, B-B gun, spring gun, blowgun, bowgun, or any similar type gun, where the use of the gun is supervised by a person eighteen (18) or more years of age in connection with the following: (a) A theatrical performance or athletic contest; (b) A licensed shooting gallery; or (c) Use at other locations where the use of the guns is authorized by the Chief of Police.”[155]

“Airsoft gun laws in Washington are fairly generic, meaning the state upholds the federal laws in regards to [Airsoft] use. Airsoft gun laws in Washington state require all purchasers and users of [Airsoft] guns to be at least 18 years of age.

“If you are under the age of 18 in Washington state[,] you must be accompanied by a legal guardian or individual over the age of 21 years old to legally purchase an airsoft gun. This [Airsoft-]gun law applies to all airsoft guns in the state of Washington as well as all pellets (ammunition) and airsoft supplies.

“In addition to the buying age, Washington state airsoft gun law requires that all airsoft guns must possess an orange tip, to prevent the appearance or confusion of a real firearm. In accordance with these ‘appearance laws,’ it is also illegal to brandish or show an airsoft gun in a public place in Washington state.

“It is only legal to play airsoft or fire the gun in designated areas; the toy weapons are not permitted in public areas such as parks, schools, etc. In general, the laws associated with airsoft in Washington state revolve around common sense use, and appearance issues.”[156]

In greater detail:

RCW 9.41.040 provides a definition for a firearm: …(11) ‘Firearm’ means a weapon or device from which a projectile or projectiles may be fired by an explosive such as gunpowder. ‘Firearm’ does not include a flare gun or other pyrotechnic visual distress signaling device, or a powder-actuated tool or other device designed solely to be used for construction purposes.

“BB guns (and airsoft guns) do not use explosives to fire projectiles. Therefore[,] BB guns are not firearms and restrictions that apply to the purchase and use of firearms do not apply. BB guns, however, do fit the broad definition of a deadly weapon and may also be considered …dangerous weapon[s]. These weapons are restricted in terms of how they can be carried, displayed and used.

RCW 9A.04.110 provides a definition of a deadly weapon: …(6) ‘Deadly weapon’ means any explosive or loaded or unloaded firearm, and shall include any other weapon, device, instrument, article, or substance, including a ‘vehicle’ as defined in this section, which, under the circumstances in which it is used, attempted to be used, or threatened to be used, is readily capable of causing death or substantial bodily harm;

“A deadly weapon is included in the definitions of the crimes of assault and battery.

“There are a number of additional restrictions governing the display and use of dangerous weapons.

RCW 9.41.230[:] Aiming or discharging firearms, dangerous weapons. (1) For conduct not amounting to a violation of chapter 9A.36 RCW, any person who: (a) Aims any firearm, whether loaded or not, at or towards any human being; (b) Willfully discharges any firearm, air gun, or other weapon, or throws any deadly missile in a public place, or in any place where any person might be endangered thereby. A public place shall not include any location at which firearms are authorized to be lawfully discharged; or (c) Except as provided in RCW 9.41.185, sets a so-called trap, spring pistol, rifle, or other dangerous weapon, although no injury results, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW. (2) If an injury results from a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person violating subsection (1) of this section shall be subject to the applicable provisions of chapters 9A.32 and 9A.36 RCW.

RCW 9.41.270[:] Weapons apparently capable of producing bodily harm—Unlawful carrying or handling—Penalty—Exceptions. (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

“(2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license. (3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following: (a) Any act committed by a person while in his or her place of abode or fixed place of business; (b) Any person who by virtue of his or her office or public employment is vested by law with a duty to preserve public safety, maintain public order, or to make arrests for offenses, while in the performance of such duty; (c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person; (d) Any person making or assisting in making a lawful arrest for the commission of a felony; or (e) Any person engaged in military activities sponsored by the federal or state governments.”[157]

“…Federal law says you must be 18 to purchase but can use at any age. They are legal in WV, per one legislator.”[158]

“Airsoft guns are legal to shoot in many places throughout the state, as Wisconsin state law doesn’t make shooting one illegal. It’s important to know, however, than many counties and cities can create their own ordinances regarding airsoft guns. For example, Ashwaubenon doesn’t allow firing an airsoft gun at all within village limits, and Brown County only allows firing an airsoft gun at designated firing ranges. You should contact your city hall to find out more about the ordinances in your area.

“Generally, one needs to be 18 years old to buy an airsoft gun in the United States. [BUT see my introductory section titled “18 Years Old to Purchase?” – Gabe] If someone of age does purchase an airsoft gun for you, there is no age-specific restriction in Wisconsin to using the gun. So, yes, if your parents or another responsible adult purchased an airsoft gun, you could use it so long as you don’t break any local restrictions like I mentioned above.

“One very important last thing to know is Wisconsin Statue 948.61, which covers bringing dangerous weapons to a school. Though the crime of bringing a real gun to school is much worse, it is still illegal to bring an airsoft gun into a school building, onto school grounds, or within 1,000 feet of school grounds. So once you have a driver’s license, make sure it’s never in your car at school, even if you’re just stopping by.”

“Federal laws regulate firearms and airsoft guns are not firearms. …Pursuant to Wis. Stat. 948.605, airsoft guns would fall under Wis. Stat. 948.61 and thus be treated as any other ‘dangerous weapon’ for purposes of carrying on school grounds.

“‘(a) Dangerous weapon has the meaning specified in s. 939.22 (10), except dangerous weapon does not include any firearm and does include any beebee or pellet-firing gun that expels a projectile through the force of air pressure or any starter pistol.’

“…[T]here are likely local ordinances you need to look into. …Please consult your local police department, city attorney or city, town or village hall regarding this issue.”[159]

According to “…the State’s Legislative Reference Bureau[,] …there are no [other] state laws referencing airsoft guns. …[Interested readers] will need to research if there are any local ordinances …in relation to …[them].”[160]

State Representative Aaron Clausen writes: “I researched …about airsoft guns and I couldn’t find any statutes that deal with airsoft or BB guns. This leads me to believe that anyone can purchase and use them. However[,] I would recommend using them in a safe manner and making sure your parents approve.”

State Senator Fred Baldwin concurs, stating: “There are no laws in Wyoming concerning air soft guns[. T]hus[,] they are legal to own and shoot anywhere in the state. Other states regulate their sales and use to varying degrees but currently Wyoming has no laws specific to the air soft guns.”

See, again, the introductory section on Federal laws. The consensus from respondents from other states seems to be that minors can shoot Airsoft guns with their parent’s permission. However, you must be at least eighteen (18) years old to purchase one.

Notes:

[1] Mike Nearman, State Representative, House District 23, Oregon.

[2] Mike Carew, Chief of Staff for the House Republican Caucus in the Oregon Legislature.

[3] Mike Carew, Chief of Staff for the House Republican Caucus in the Oregon Legislature.

[4] Frazier Willman, Legislative Assistant to Joe Fain, State Senator, 47th Legislative District, Washington.

[5] Gretchen Dobervich, State Representative, District 11, North Dakota House of Representatives.

[6] Jonathan Oosting, “Snyder Signs Air Gun Reclassification Bills Changing Definition of ‘Firearm’ in Michigan Law,’ Michigan Live (mLive), May 13, 2015, <https://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/05/snyder_signs_air_gun_reclassif.html>.

[7] James Lucero, Deputy Chief of Staff, State Senate, Colorado; citing HERE.

[8] U.S. Code, Title 15, Chapter 76, Section, 5001, online at <https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/5001>.

[9] 15 U.S.C. § 5001(c).

[10] 15 U.S.C. § 5001(b)(1).

[11] 15 U.S.C. § 5001(f).

[12] Manny Fernandez, “Texas Death Offers Grim Reminder That Gun Replicas Can Fool Police,” New York Times, Jan. 8, 2012, <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/us/teenagers-death-a-reminder-of-gun-replicas-dangers.html>.

[13] “Non-Powder and Toy Guns,” Giffords, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/child-consumer-safety/non-powder-toy-guns/>.

[14] Ibid.

[15] 15 CFR § 272.1, <https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/15/272.1>.

[16] Information via unnamed legislative researcher(s); via Jeff Pittman, State Representative, Kansas.

[17] James Lucero, Deputy Chief of Staff, State Senate, Colorado; citing Reference: 15 USC 1150.

[18] Jennifer Johnston, State Representative, Alaska.

[19] “Legal Issues in Airsoft,” Wikipedia, Updated Aug. 7, 2018, <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_issues_in_airsoft>.

[20] On the inability to locate a federal law governing purchasing age, source: Jason Mohr, Research Analyst, Montana Legislative Environmental Policy Office; via email. On the distinction between buying and using, source: Jennifer Johnston, State Representative, Alaska. Italics added.

[21] Kevin Frazzini, “Fracas Over Fakes,” State Legislatures, Dec. 2016, p. 8, <http://www.ncsl.org/Portals/1/Documents/magazine/articles/2016/SL_1216-Trends.pdf>.

[22] Jim Townsend, Business Development Officer, Civilian Marksmanship Program; via Jim McClendon, State Senator, Alabama.

[23] Timothy Bell, BirminghamAl.gov.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Jennifer Johnston, State Representative, Alaska.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Jerad McClure, Office of Representative David Eastman, District 10, Alaska. McClure adds: “There seems to be a set of guidelines and best practices [for competitive Airsoft in Alaska] located on this page[.] They may actually have some additional information as to how to get started in the sport as well.

[29] Gabrielle LeDoux, State Representative, Alaska.

[30] Johnston, op. cit.

[31] Vince Leach, State Representative, 11th Legislative District, Arizona House of Representatives; and Doris Lutes, City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation; via email.

[32] It began as House Bill 2160, 87th General Assembly, 2009, Arkansas.

[33] Brent Gasper; via Charlotte Douglas, State Representative, Arkansas.

[34] Deputy Tracy Koerner, Sheriff’s Information Bureau, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

[35] Brett Weise, Council Representative for Councilmember Chris Ward, Third Council District, City of San Diego.

[36] Terri Inefuku, “Examining Hawaii’s BB gun laws after sixth shooting reported in Aiea,” KHON2, Sept 30, 2015, <https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/examining-hawaiis-bb-gun-laws-after-sixth-shooting-reported-in-aiea_20180309115541536/1025771512>.

[37] Benjamin Peterson, Office Administrator, Jordan Cunningham, Assemblyman, District 35, California Assembly.

[38] Koerner, op. cit.

[39] Christopher Vallejo, Council Representative, Office of Councilmember Georgette Gómez, San Diego.

[40] See also: “‘§53.15 Air Guns, Sling Shots, Pointed Missiles, Etc. — Discharge, Propelling Prohibited[.] That it shall be unlawful for any person to discharge any air gun, or sling shot, or bean shooter, or throw, hurl, heave or propel any sharp pointed missile, or dart, or arrow upon any public street or sidewalk or public gathering place within the corporate limits of The City of San Diego. (“Air Guns, Sling Shots, Pointed Missiles, Etc. — Discharge, Propelling Prohibited” incorp. 1–22–1952 by O–5046 N.S., contained in O–61 N.S., adopted 10–24–1932.) §53.15.1 Same — Sale To Minors Prohibited[.] That it shall be unlawful for any person to sell to any minor child any dart, arrow, or sharp pointed missile within the corporate limits of The City of San Diego. (“Same — Sale To Minors Prohibited” incorp. 1–22–1952 by O–5046 N.S., contained in O–61 N.S., adopted 10–24–1932.) §53.15.2 Possession of Air Guns, Pointed Missiles, Etc., by Minors[.] (a) Except as provided in this section, it is unlawful for any person under the age of eighteen to have in his or her possession, upon any public street or sidewalk or in any public gathering place within the corporate limits of the City any air gun, sharp pointed missile, dart or arrow, described in Municipal Code section 53.15. (b) This section shall not apply to any minor engaged in supervised or otherwise lawful activity involving such weapons, or who is going to or returning from a place where the minor was engaged in such supervised or otherwise lawful activity. (“Possession of Air Guns, Pointed Missiles, Etc., by Minors” added 3–17–1998 by O–18472 N.S.) §53.16 Penalties for Firearms and Other Weapons Offenses[.] (a) A person is guilty of a separate punishable offense for each firing or discharge of a weapon described in Municipal Code sections 53.10 or 53.15. (b) Minors arrested for a violation of Municipal Code sections 53.10, 53.15, 53.15.1 or 53.15.2 shall be subject to the provisions of section 602 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. (c) Any parent or legal guardian, or person over the age of eighteen, is also guilty of a misdemeanor, if: (1) he or she possesses on any premises or within a vehicle under his or her custody or control, any of the firearms identified in Municipal Code sections 53.10, and (2) he or she knows or reasonably should know that a minor is likely to gain access to such firearm, and (3) a minor obtains and fires or discharges such firearm in violation of sections 53.10. (d) A violation of Municipal Code sections 53.10, 53.15 or 53.15.1 occurring within 1,500 feet of a public or private day care center, school or school grounds, is a misdemeanor, and the penalty for conviction of the same is punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in the County jail for a period of not more than one year, or both. A violation of sections 53.10, 53.15 or 53.15.1 may also be prosecuted in accordance with Chapter 1 of the Municipal Code. (“Penalties for Firearms and Other Weapons Offenses” added 3–17–1998 by O–18472 N.S.)’ You may also wish to read California Penal Code section 246.3(b), which makes it a misdemeanor crime to discharge a BB gun in a grossly negligent manner: 246.3. (a) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a firearm in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170. (b) Except as otherwise authorized by law, any person who willfully discharges a BB device in a grossly negligent manner which could result in injury or death to a person is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year. (c) As used in this section, “BB device” means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action. (Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 15, Sec. 300. (AB 109) Effective April 4, 2011. Operative October 1, 2011, by Sec. 636 of Ch. 15, as amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 39, Sec. 68.),” according to Hilary Nemchik, Director of Communications, Office of the City Attorney, San Diego.

[41] Weise, op. cit.

[42] Giancarlo Lopez, Aide to David Alvarez, Councilmember, District 8, San Diego. Lopez adds: “To learn more about the laws that concern airsoft guns, follow these links which explain the rules regulating all firearms, air-powered shooters, and projectiles.” HERE (“San Diego Laws. See page 2 & 3”) and HERE (“California laws”).

[43] San Francisco: Katherine Bishop, “Toy Guns: A Real and Growing Problem for Police,” New York Times, Jan. 25, 1987, <https://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/25/us/toy-guns-a-real-and-growing-problem-for-police.html>. San Jose: Sgt. C Dominguez, #3314, San Jose Police Department, Bureau of Field Operations; via email. He added: “I would offer the opinion that airsoft guns are inherently dangerous at any age.”

[44] James Lucero, Deputy Chief of Staff, State Senate, Colorado.

[45] Scott Frantz, State Senator, Connecticut; vetted by Mike Cronin, Senate Republican Legal Counsel.

[46] Dave Williams, Legislative Aide to Mitch Bolinsky, State Representative, Connecticut and Jeff Currey, State Representative, Connecticut.

[47] Nicholas Larsen, Office of Jim Hime, State Congressman, Connecticut. Larsen adds: “If you’d like more guidance, [the Congressman’s office recommends] that you reach out to the New Haven police department, [which] can be reached at (203) 946-6316.”

[48] Connecticut Penal Code, General Provisions, Chapter 950. This is echoed by Christopher Wilson, Legislative Assistant to Representatives Tim Ackert (8th District), Tom Delnicki (14th District), Bill Simanski (62nd District), John Piscopo (76th District), Jason Perillo (113th District), Gail Lavielle (143rd District), House Republican Office, Connecticut General Assembly: “…Chapter 950 Section 53a-3(19) of the Connecticut Penal Code (Title 53a* of the Connecticut General Statutes) defines ‘firearm’ as ‘any sawed-off shotgun, machine gun, rifle, shotgun, pistol, revolver or other weapon, whether loaded or unloaded from which a shot may be discharged.’ Therefore, due to the vagueness of its definition, it is possible that the term ‘firearm’ could be interpreted to encompass airsoft guns. The Special Licensing and Firearms Unit (SLFU) of the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) provides the following resource for inquiries relating to airsoft guns (and air rifles): https://www.airsoftstation.com/content/resources/boy-scout-airsoft-rifle-safety-information.html.”

[49] Connecticut Penal Code, Chapter 950.

[50] Kay Wilson, Legislative Aide to Kevin Hensley, House of Representatives, Delaware.

[51] “Non-powder & Toy Guns,” Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/child-consumer-safety/non-powder-toy-guns/>.

[52] Ibid.

[53] Ibid.

[54] Annette Simmons-Brown, Office of Citizen Services, Florida Attorney General’s Office.

[55] Edwin Cabrera, Sergeant, Professional Compliance Bureau, Miami-Dade Police Department.

[56] Heath Clark, State Representative, District 147, Georgia.

[57] Sheri Gilligan, State Representative, House District 24, Georgia House of Representatives. Gilligan adds: “I suggest you contact your local county commissioner or city councilman to learn of local ordinances that might restrict the use of your Airsoft gun.” According to Emory Dunahoo, Jr. (State Representative): “There are new air guns we are looking at for next year. Maybe to allow deer hunting.”

[58] “Non-Powder Guns in Georgia,” Oct. 30, 2017, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/non-powder-guns-in-georgia/>.

[59] Ryan Farmer, General Counsel, Office of the Senate Majority Leader, Bill Cowsert, State Senator, 46th District, Georgia.

[60] Jennifer Ide, City Council, Atlanta. For more information, Ide recommends THIS WEBSITE.

[61] Terri Inefuku, “Examining Hawaii’s BB gun laws after sixth shooting reported in Aiea,” KHON2, Sept 30, 2015, <https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/examining-hawaiis-bb-gun-laws-after-sixth-shooting-reported-in-aiea_20180309115541536/1025771512>; and Kaeo Kealoha-Lindsey; via email.

[62] These references were pointed out by Tom Brewer, State Representative, Hawaii.

[63] Amanda Rickard, Library Research Assistant, Research & Legislation Division, Idaho Legislative Services Office.

[64] Emphasis added.

[65] “Airguns” are also mentioned in Statute 6-2702, titled the “Idaho Sport-Shooting Activities Immunity Act.”

[66] Eric Glover, Legislative Librarian, Research & Legislation Division, Idaho Legislative Services Office.

[67] David Harris, State Representative, Illinois. According to Harris, in Illinois, “[y]ou can buy an Airsoft gun at 13 years of age. A dealer cannot sell an Airsoft gun to someone under 13 unless a parent or an individual acting in loco parentis is with the buyer.” Harris adds: “Here is a link you can use for the Illinois laws regarding Airsoft: 720 ILCS 5/ Criminal Code of 2012.”

[68] Anna Moeller, State Representative, 43rd district, Illinois.

[69] “Non-Powder and Toy Guns,” Giffords, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/child-consumer-safety/non-powder-toy-guns/>.

[70] Rebecca Hauer, Legislative Assistant to Philip Boots, State Senator, Indiana.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Victoria Szczechowski, Legislative Assistant for Sharon Negele, State Representative, Indiana House of Representatives.

[73] Senate staff; via Jerry Behn and Mike Breitbach, State Senators, Iowa.

[74] Senate staff; via Jerry Behn and Mike Breitbach, State Senators, Iowa.

[75] Larry Davey, Lieutenant, Des Moines Police Department.

[76] Lisa M. Claeys, Captain, Sioux City Police Department.

[77] Randall Hardy, State Senator, Kansas. An associate of the Kansas Legislative Research Department states: “I have not identified any state laws regulating airsoft guns. However, since airsoft guns do not fall under the definition of ‘firearm’ they also are not afforded the protections that someone has under the Personal and Family Protection Act. As such, many municipalities have ordinances that prohibit the firing of bb guns within city limits.

“There also is extensive federal law regulating air guns. 15 U.S.C. 5001 makes it unlawful for any person to manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm unless it has a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce. Generally, each air gun must be affixed with an orange plug inserted in the barrel and not be recessed more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel. The Code of Federal Regulations has additional provisions detailing acceptable markings at 15 C.F.R. 272.” Via Richard Hilderbrand, Representative.
 

[78] Cory Sheedy; via Tom Burroughs, State Representative, Kansas.

[79] Mary Martha Good, State Representative, Kansas.

[80] Sheedy; via Burroughs, op. cit.

[81] Information via unnamed legislative researcher(s); via Jeff Pittman, State Representative, Kansas. This information is echoed by another legislator. “An Airsoft gun is not considered a ‘firearm’ under Kansas law, so state laws regarding firearms do not apply to them. However, many cities restrict or prohibit the firing of Airsoft guns or other similar guns within the city limits. To find out for sure whether you can fire an Airsoft gun where you live you should contact your local police department or sheriff’s office. I also want to encourage you to be very careful with your Airsoft gun if you have one and to not carry it outside without an adult around. Because Airsoft guns look so much like real guns, many people carrying Airsoft guns in public have been hurt because other people thought they were dangerous.” Boog Highberger, State Representative, Kansas.

[82] Ibid.

[83] James “Jimmy” Higdon, State Senator, Kentucky.

[84] Vaughn Murphy, Deputy General Counsel, Senate Majority Office, Kentucky.

[85] Matt Sanders, Police Officer, Media and Public Relations Office, Special Weapon And Tactics Team, Louisville Metro Police Department.

[86] Charles R. Love II, Sergeant, Seventh District, General Assignment, New Orleans Police Department.

[87] Eddie Dema, Senior Police Officer, 7th District Community Coordinator, New Orleans Police Department.

[88] Terry Baxter, State Representative, District 8, Iowa House of Representatives.

[89] Assistant to the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; courtesy of Kathleen RJ Dillingham, State Representative, Maine.

[90] Lester Ordway, State Representative, District 23, Maine.

[91] Mary Jane Dryer, Legislative Aide for Steven J. Arentz, State Delegate, District 36, Maryland.

[92] Terri Inefuku, “Examining Hawaii’s BB gun laws after sixth shooting reported in Aiea,” KHON2, Sept 30, 2015, <https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/examining-hawaiis-bb-gun-laws-after-sixth-shooting-reported-in-aiea_20180309115541536/1025771512>.

[93] Brad Hill, State Representative, Massachusetts.

[94] Ibid.

[95] Cited by Martha, Boston Police Department, Public Records Request.

[96] Terri Inefuku, “Examining Hawaii’s BB gun laws after sixth shooting reported in Aiea,” KHON2, Sept 30, 2015, <https://www.khon2.com/news/local-news/examining-hawaiis-bb-gun-laws-after-sixth-shooting-reported-in-aiea_20180309115541536/1025771512>.

[97] Jonathan Oosting, “Snyder Signs Air Gun Reclassification Bills Changing Definition of ‘Firearm’ in Michigan Law,’ Michigan Live (mLive), May 13, 2015, <https://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/05/snyder_signs_air_gun_reclassif.html>.

[98] Vanessa Guerra, State Representative, 95th District, Michigan.

[99] Micah DeMass, Front Desk/Legislative Aide, Office of Hank Vaupel, State Representative, 47th District, Michigan.

[100] “Gov. Rick Snyder Signs Bills to Clarify Definition of Firearms, Bring State in Line With Federal Statutes,” Office of Governor Rick Snyder, May 12, 2015, <https://www.michigan.gov/snyder/0,4668,7-277-57577_57657-354463–,00.html>, via DeMass, op. cit. See, also, Oosting, op. cit.

[101] Jeff Yaroch, State Representative, 33rd District, Michigan.

[102] Guerra, op. cit.

[103] Yaroch, op. cit.

[104] Guerra, op. cit.

[105] MI Comp L § 752.891 (1996 through Reg Sess).

[106] “Non-Powder and Toy Guns,” Giffords, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/child-consumer-safety/non-powder-toy-guns/>.

[107] Yaroch, op. cit.

[108] Guerra, op. cit. For more, Rep. Guerra adds: “Here’s some information on what laws can restrict ‘non-powder guns’ in Michigan.” Yaroch adds these links: HERE and HERE.

[109] Nolan West, State Representative, District 37B, Minnesota.

[110] Additionally, “individual sellers can institute any restrictions they see fit,” West, op. cit.

[111] “…[T]he police …get lots of calls for service as many people mistake these airsoft guns for real guns. Therefore[,] a good rule of thumb is that they should only be used on private property. However, that is tricky especially in the city, where private [property] quickly can cross a public sidewalk, alley, boulevard and street. If a passerby does not realize you are on your own property, they may call us anyway. Most retailers (stores) set their own policies for how old you have to be to purchase these replica guns.” Source: email from [email protected]

[112] Jerry Hertaus, State Representative, Minnesota. For more information, see: http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/groups/public/@council/documents/webcontent/convert_262177.pdfhttps://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/624.7181https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/609.66#stat.609.66.1b.

[113] Patricia Willis, State Representative, District 95, Mississippi.

[114] Robert Cornejo, State Representative, District 64, Missouri.

[115] Christopher Hinckley, Chief Warrant Officer, St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

[116] Cited by Hinckley.

[117] Cited by Christopher Hinckley, Chief Warrant Officer, St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office.

[118] Kelly McCarthy, former State Representative, Montana.

[119] Rob Cook, State Representative, House District 18, Montana. See also: “Montana law does not address the sale or use of airsoft guns. In 1988, Congress passed laws requiring a ‘blaze orange plug’ in a ‘look-alike firearm.’ A look-alike firearm is ‘an imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy guns, water guns, replica nonguns, and air-soft guns firing nonmetallic projectiles. Such term does not include any look-alike, nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior to 1898, or traditional B–B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.’ (The federal law number is 15 U.S.C. § 5001(c).) Those rules were modified in 2013 to allow different markings and different colors. A “look-alarm firearm” would include airsoft guns.

“Local governments may have restrictions upon weapons, including airsoft guns. For example, Helena City Code states that it is unlawful to carry or shoot ‘any air gun, rifle, pistol, sling shot or bow and arrow within the limits of this City, except in those areas designated as indoor or outdoor rifle, pistol, shotgun or archery ranges as designated and approved by the City Manager.’

“Although I have read a person must be 18 years of age to purchase an airsoft gun, I have found no corresponding state or federal law. Other states may prohibit sales of look-alike firearms to minors.

“It appears that would be legal [to shoot one that someone else has bought], however, local regulations may apply (see above).” Jason Mohr, Research Analyst, Montana Legislative Environmental Policy Office; via email.

[120] Daniel Zolnikov, State Representative, House District 45, Montana.

[121] Spencer Head, Research Analyst for Speaker Jim Scheer, State Senator, Legislative District 19, Nebraska.

[122] It was apparently reintroduced on Jan. 5, 2017 and again “indefinitely postponed” on April 18, 2018.

[123] Steve Erdman, State Senator, Nebraska. For more information, see the Legislative Research Office publication titled “Firearms Laws in Nebraska.”

[124] Dan Watermeier, State Senator, District #1, Nebraska Legislature.

[125] See also HERE.

[126] Craig Hoffecker, Supervisory Analyst, Research Division- Constituent Services Unit, Legislative Counsel Bureau, Nevada.

[127] Clark County District Attorney’s Office; citing Barnhart v. State, 122 Nev. 301, 304-305, 130 P.3d 650, 652 (2006); Allen v. State, 96 Nev. 334, 336, 609 P.2d 321, 322 (1980).

[128] W. Tlockowski, Officer, Las Vegas Police Department.

[129] Cited by Jack Mullen, Bill Status Clerk, State House, New Hampshire. “You can search all of the NH statutes” HERE.

[130] See also HERE.

[131] John DiMaio, Assemblyman, 23rd Legislative District, New Jersey General Assembly.

[132] Ryan Hedin, State Representative, New Mexico.

[133] Brian Barnwell, Assemblyman, New York.

[134] Gertrude, Constituent Liaison for Addie Jenne, Assembly Member, New York.

[135] Ibid.

[136] Ibid.

[137] “Non-Powder and Toy Guns,” Giffords, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/child-consumer-safety/non-powder-toy-guns/>.

[138] Lester M. Paverman, Attorney, New York City Police Department.

[139] Donna McDowell White, State Representative, North Carolina.

[140] Regina M. Irwin, Legislative Assistant for Sam Watford, State Representative, North Carolina, citing, <https://library.municode.com/nc/davidson/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=COOR_CH50OFMIPR_ARTIINGE_S50-4DIFI>.

[141] Gretchen Dobervich, State Representative, District 11, North Dakota House of Representatives. Representative Thomas Beadle concurs, writing: “Airsoft guns would likely fall under the definition of ‘dangerous weapon’ as provided in Subsection 1 of Section 62.1-01-01 of the North Dakota Century Code …as the definition includes ‘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 CO2 gun.’ The Century Code is silent as to specific restrictions on age and purchase of dangerous weapons, specifically air rifles, however, Chapter 62.1-04 …sets forth the law relating to carrying a dangerous weapon concealed. Subsection 3 of Section 62.1-01-01 …provides the definition of firearm ‘means any device which will expel, or is readily capable of expelling, a projectile by the action of an explosive and includes any such device, loaded or unloaded, commonly referred to as a pistol, revolver, rifle, gun, machine fun, shotgun, bazooka, or cannon…’ Subdivision d of Subsection 1 of Section 62.1-02-01 …addresses who may not possess a firearm and provides ‘a person under the age of eighteen years may not possess a handgun except that such a person, while under the direct supervision of an adult, may possess a handgun for the purposes of firearm safety training, target shooting, or hunting.’ Section 62.1-02-07 …prohibits the use of firearms by certain minors. The section provides ‘[a]ny parent, guardian, or other person having charge or custody of any minor under fifteen years of age who permits that minor to carry or use in public any firearm of any description loaded with powder and projectile, except when the minor is under the direct supervision of the parent, guardian, or other person authorized by the parent or guardian, is guilty of a class B misdemeanor.’”

[142] Ibid. Representative Dobervich adds: “In August of 2017, a law went into effect in ND that allows citizens to carry concealed firearms and weapons without requiring a license. Concealed means that people around you would not be able to see the firearm or weapon. Previously, a concealed weapons permit was required. It involved taking a class, a written test, and if you wanted a license recognized by other states, a shooting proficiency test as well. The new law is not clear if a concealed permit is required when you are traveling in a vehicle with your weapon loaded. Some people interpret it as you can carry a loaded firearm in your car and some interpret that you cannot. Until this is legally addresses, I recommend if you get an Airsoft gun and you have it in the car with you, that you don’t have it loaded with pellets- better safe than sorry. (This is just my opinion…)

“If you are looking for additional information who good sources are the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations for Federal firearm and weapons laws and for North Dakota specific information https://www.legis.nd.gov/cencode/t62-1.html.

“If you are looking into owning an Airsoft gun, I think basic firearm safety, use and safe storage are very important to learn.  There is not a requirement that a person attend ND Hunter’s Safety or concealed weapon permit classes to own an Airsoft or any other firearm in ND, it is on us as citizens to be responsible gun owners. While I was growing up on our family farm and ranch, my Dad taught me how to use and store firearms and ammunition safely. I don’t hunt, but I do really like to target shoot and have a Class 1 concealed weapon permit license.

[143] Andrew Uxley, Legislative Aide to Theresa Gavarone, State Representative, Ohio; citing Ord. 666.  Passed Sept. 21, 2005.

[144] An older version of this statute, available HERE, makes no mention of “altered air pistols.”

[145] Terri Ihnat, Legislative Assistant to Kevin Wallace, State Representative, District 32, Oklahoma. Ihnat adds the following LINK “…to some general information about ‘non-powder and toy guns’ from the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence website. This link provides information about federal laws and various state laws related to non-powder guns.”

[146] Frances Kersey, City Clerk, Oklahoma City.

[147] Mike Nearman, State Representative, House District 23, Oregon.

[148] So in original. I couldn’t find an online reference to ORS 166.743. It perhaps should read ORS.643.

[149] Mike Carew, Chief of Staff, House Republican Office, Oregon State Legislature, on behalf of Mike McLane.

[150] Ibid.

[151] Bryan D.Cutler, Majority Caucus Whip, 100th Legislative District, Pennsylvania.

[152] Adam Satchell, State Senator, Rhode Island.

[153] Elaine Morgan, State Senator, Deputy Minority Whip, District 34, Rhode Island. Morgan adds: “Always learn gun safety. Look up classes in your area.” Statutes may be read HERE.

[154] Justin McCarthy, Constituent Service Liaison, Office of the President of the Senate, Rhode Island; forwarded via Jim Seveney, State Senator, District 11, Rhode Island.

[155] Kathryn Richardson, Executive Assistant, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division; via email; and Karli Maratea, Public Information Office/ Administrative Assistant, Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

[156] “Non-Powder Guns in South Carolina,” Giffords, Nov. 27, 2017, <http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/state-law/50-state-summaries/non-powder-guns-state-by-state/>; cited by Maratea, op. cit.

[157] Maratea, op. cit.

[158] Michael Clark, State Representative, District 9, South Dakota.

[159] Kyle Faulkner, Legislative Assistant to Patsy Hazlewood, State Representative, Tennessee.

[160] See, esp., Sec. 235.022. See, also, Sec. 236.001ff.

[161] Manny Fernandez, “Texas Death Offers Grim Reminder That Gun Replicas Can Fool Police,” New York Times, Jan. 8, 2012, <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/09/us/teenagers-death-a-reminder-of-gun-replicas-dangers.html>.

[162] Fernandez, op. cit.

[163] Scott Sandall, State Representative, Utah.

[164] Larry Cupoli, State Representative, Rutland City 5-2, Vermont.

[165] Ibid.

[166] Dave LaRock, State Delegate, House of Delegates, 33rd District, Virginia.

[167] Evelyn Settle, Senior Sergeant, Metropolitan Police Department, Records Division-Firearm Registration Unit, Washington, D.C.; citing Commissioners’ Order No. 64-1397F, Sept. 29, 1964, Article 9, §§2, 4(b) of the Police Regulations, May 1981. For more information, Sgt. Settle advises readers to “contact the Firearm Registration Unit [at] (202) 727-4275.”

[168] Patricia Tenney, Legislative Assistant to Representative Tom Dent, Washington.

[169] Frazier Willman, Legislative Assistant to Joe Fain, State Senator, 47th Legislative District, Washington. Here is a “City of Seattle ordinance related to airsoft BB guns. Seattle Municipal Code 12A.14 is the chapter for Weapons Control. 12.A.14.010 contains definitions that apply to that chapter, including, “Air gun means 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.” Please see the following link to the City of Seattle Code for Weapons Control Chapter 12A.14: https://library.municode.com/wa/seattle/codes/municipal_code?nodeId=TIT12ACRCO_SUBTITLE_ICRCO_CH12A.14WECO_12A.14.010DE.” Source: Katelyn Harmston, City of Seattle, Customer Service Bureau; via email.

[170] Chanda Adkins, Legislative Aide, West Virginia.

[171] Jimmy Anderson, State Representative, Wisconsin, 47th Assembly District; via email; and Theresa Bachorz, Legislative Assistant to Scott Krug, State Representative, Wisconsin.

[172] John J. Macco, State Representative, 88th Assembly District, Wisconsin.

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