Black Powder firearm laws?


February 8, 2011, 04:31 AM
So what are the laws reguarding flint locks and cap and ball fire arms? I'm guessing these guns don't fall under normal gun laws but I'm not sure.

I've become interested in buying a Kentucky rifle, just for kicks, and seen them for sale online. Just making sure this doesn't have to go through a dealer and end up costing more in the end.

BTW I'm in CA if anyone knows the fine details of CA law for black powder that would be great.


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February 8, 2011, 10:33 AM
Muzzle loading guns are not firearms under federal law.

States may have restrictions though.

Black Toe Knives
February 8, 2011, 11:09 AM
FFL transfer is not required on muzzleloaders.

February 8, 2011, 11:11 AM
I think that legally muzzleloaders are pipes with handles

(I am not an attorney, thank you Lord)

February 8, 2011, 11:13 AM
Page 4 (electronic page 9):

The term firearm does not apply to a federally defined “antique” firearm for the purpose of dealer licensing requirements, sales or loans between private parties, or requirements to obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate pursuant to Penal Code sections 12070, 12071, subdivisions (b) (c) or (d) of 12072, or 12073. The term firearm does not apply to federally defined “curio” or “relic” long guns over 50 years old for the purpose of transfers between private parties. (Penal Code §§ 12001(e), 12078(t)(2).)

18 USC 921:

(16) The term “antique firearm” means—

(A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; or

(B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica—

(i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or

(ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade; or

(C) any muzzle loading rifle, muzzle loading shotgun, or muzzle loading pistol, which is designed to use black powder, or a black powder substitute, and which cannot use fixed ammunition. For purposes of this subparagraph, the term “antique firearm” shall not include any weapon which incorporates a firearm frame or receiver, any firearm which is converted into a muzzle loading weapon, or any muzzle loading weapon which can be readily converted to fire fixed ammunition by replacing the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any combination thereof.

February 8, 2011, 02:36 PM
Well thats good news, thanks guys.

I'm looking forward to making some smoke. :D

February 8, 2011, 02:38 PM

I purchased my T/C New Englander on gunbroker and all I had to do was
FAX the seller a copy of my CA drivers license to prove I was over 18. Very
simple transaction, it showed up in the mail a few days later.

I believe purchases of black powder in CA are limited to one pound only and the last few times I bought some GOEX at a local range the seller had to copy
my D/L. I don't know if that's a State requirement or not.

Hopefully, the geniuses in our State Legislature will leave BP firearm regulations as they are and some knucklehead doesn't try to rob a 7-11 with
a Colt Walker to ruin it for everyone.

February 8, 2011, 04:58 PM
Cool, thanks for the info Bullwinkle. Interesting about the one pound limit. Not that it would cause me any issue. I guess it’s because black powder is an explosive while smokeless is a propellant.....?

Whatever, if I ever needed more than a pound (I don't see it happening) I'm sure I could buy some at one place and more at another.

BTW I'm in SoCal too. Where do you shoot?

February 8, 2011, 05:14 PM
CA does, however, consider them firearms for purposes of concealed carry. Obviously not an issue for a Kentucky Long Rifle, but it is for pre-1898 revolvers.

February 8, 2011, 10:16 PM
I've bought a lot of muzzleloading BP rifles and pistols in California, laws are no different than most other places for BP muzzleloaders. UPS delivers to my office on the 16th floor in San Francisco financial district, no problems.

February 9, 2011, 10:58 AM
In regards to obtaining/possessing more than one pound of black powder in CA...

CA law [H&S 12102.1] requires a vendor to collect certain info on a person buying more than one pound of blackpowder or more than 20 pounds of smokeless powder.

CA laws [H&S 12102 and H&S 12101] prohibits the storage/possession of more than one pound of blackpowder, unless the person is licensed as a pyrotechnic operator.

February 9, 2011, 12:42 PM
CA does, however, consider them firearms for purposes of concealed carry.

Many states consider then "firearms" when taken from the carrying angle, so be careful with that for sure.

February 11, 2011, 10:09 AM
Unfortunately, in IL, we have to run MLs through the same hoops as any other firearm. About the only thing we don't have to do a 4473 on here is air guns with velocity under 700 fps and 17 cal or smaller.

Gives us here in the land of incarcerated governors a warm, save, fuzzy feeling.

February 12, 2011, 12:20 AM
"...I'm looking forward to making some smoke..." Buy a copy of Lyman's BP Handbook and Loading Manual first. BP is loaded in grains, by volume, not the weight.
Flintlocks have their own kind of weirdness too. Better to start with a percussion lock.

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