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Federal laws that affect air guns?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Vermonter, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    Are there any federal laws that prohibit full-auto, silencers, bore size greater than .50, or anything else in regards to air guns?
  2. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Yes, potentially. Example, the Gamo Whisper line of "silenced" rifles. You will notice that the silencer gizmo is permanently attached to the barrel. This is because the law defines a silencer as a "firearm" in and of itself.

    So, if you make a silencer intended only for an air rifle, it still may be a "silencer" under firearm law.

    I'm sure there are plenty of others.
  3. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    If anyone can point me in the direction of the laws it would be helpful. Thanks.
  4. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Air guns, much like BP gun are specifically excluded as 'guns' in federal law
    but the thing you might find on or in (or lowers that can be 'easily converted into firearms with the FA guts intact) like a (this is per the ATF) an "unregistered Full Auto sear" Or a Firearm like a silencer....

    yeah, those are 'guns'

    GCA 68 etc....
  5. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    There was an issue last year with some airsoft M16 rifles imported that could accept real AR-15 parts and be used as a real firearm. It had an actual AR-15 lower.
  6. mbruce

    mbruce Well-Known Member

    long gone are the days of the lever action Daisy....
  7. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Oh and remember that for it to be a 'Gun' (per the ATF) it only needs to fire ONE round (and if it blows up and kills you, well it was a 'zip gun'...)
  8. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    I've never seen language that specifically excludes air guns, just that usually the definition of firearm uses the word "explosive", so therefore air guns don't fit it. BP with percussion or flint ignition is specifically excluded.

    I'm hoping someone knows of which laws might use the word "propellant" instead of "explosive", things like that. I thought I heard something about bore size laws being that way.
  9. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    I have seen it, it's in the definition (a part that you most likely skipped as it's the three pages of this is/this isn't)

    A airgun is specifically excluded as a firearm. But I forget which, check the usual laws and read the boring first part,
  10. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

    Danger here is that you are expecting the language of the law to matter. Since ATF usually gets to interpret these laws, at least for prosecutors, that can make things fuzzy.

    ATF recently classified some airsoft guns as "real firearms" because they were able to put a real upper on them and get them to fire one bullet. ATF then confiscated these "air guns" and proudly boasted how they had kept us all safe from these evil machine guns.

  11. PapaG

    PapaG Well-Known Member

    Not federal, but Illinois....airguns of 17 cal and velocity over 700 fps, or any caliber over 17 and regardless of velocity are handled as firearms in dealer transactions. My Daisy is still just a BB gun but my Benjamin, Crosman, and Sheridan along with my RWS are all firearms.

    Cool state, eh?
  12. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    I found the section I was thinking of. In the definition of destructive device -
    (B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter

    So I'm thinking that an air gun with a bore bigger than .50 might be called a destructive device.
  13. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    No, it's not (think about it, ever seen 'pumpkin chunking on discovery???)

    they are not defined as a weapon.
  14. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    I bet the BATFE could figure out a way to call it a weapon if you're firing anything resembling a bullet. I'd love to find the supposed laws that exclude air guns that someone mentioned, but I haven't been been able to.
  15. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

  16. Vermonter

    Vermonter Well-Known Member

    Nothing in the definitions section of Chapter 44 (18 USC 921). Nothing in the exclusions section either.

    Nothing in the definitions for the NFA either (section 5845)
  17. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    In the preamble definitions 27 cfr 478.11
  18. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    and here......

    HAPPY NOW, just a google away
  19. CapnMac

    CapnMac Well-Known Member

    Except OP was asking about >0.5" which 27 CFR § 447.11 fails to make any mention of.

    (And, we probably do not need to clutter this with whether USC precedes CFR; the State premptions have been willy-nilly enough already.)
  20. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Well-Known Member

    Ok, so whats the def. of AOW and DD??
    I doubt there is any regulation, as pneumatic cannons are used extensively in impact testing

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