Can A Felon Have A BB Gun? Felons lose certain rights including the ability to legally own a firearm. Some felons will break the law by purchasing and owning a firearm anyway, but this is not a good idea.
There is always a risk that you’ll get caught and go to jail. Suffice to say, it is pertinent for felons to remain out of trouble to avoid further punishment.
Since you’ve been labeled a felon, you’ll face harsh punishments than non-felons. Regardless, you will still have many rights as a United States citizen. As a felon, you are likely wondering whether you can legally own a BB gun.
Can a felon own a BB gun? Would you be breaking the law if you purchased a BB gun? Continue reading the guide below to learn more about the laws regarding pellet guns and BB guns.
What Is A Firearm?
First, you should learn more about firearms. What is considered a firearm under federal law?
According to federal law, a firearm is any weapon or starter gun that is designed or can be readily converted to dispense a projectile using explosives.
As a result, the weapon has to use explosives to fire the projectile. When you analyze BB guns and pellets, you’ll find that they shoot the projectile using compressed air.
Since these guns do not use explosives, they’re not considered firearms according to federal law.
It is important to remember this because it plays a big role in determining whether felons can own and shoot BB guns.
About Pellet Guns
How much do you know about pellet guns and BB guns? Ultimately, these firearms are different than conventional weapons because they fire using CO2 or pressurized air.
In general, these weapons fire BBs or lead pellets. Since these guns are using CO2 to fire the projectile, the fired projectile is much slower than a real bullet. It is less dangerous as well although pellet guns can cause serious harm.
Therefore, felons can own and use pellet guns, but you should still be very cautious when using one.
Pellet Guns Vs BB Guns
While pellet guns and BB guns are similar, there are a few notable differences. Both are pneumatic weapons meaning they’re using air to fire. BB guns fire projectiles at a much lower velocity.
A BB gun is going to be less deadly than a pellet gun.
If you’re looking for a suitable hunting weapon, it would be best to pick a powerful pellet gun. Always consider the velocity to ensure that you’ll get what you need.
Since pellet guns are not considered firearms under federal law, felons can own them without facing repercussions.
Just remember that the laws vary from one area to another. Therefore, it is wise to carefully check your state and local laws to avoid running into potential issues.
Regardless, BB guns use steel ammunition while pellet guns use lead pellets.
Good Pellet Gun Uses
Pellet guns and BB guns can be used for many purposes. However, they’re not suitable for everything. If you’re using a BB gun, you can likely use it for target practice and plinking.
BB guns are generally too weak to be used for hunting. You’d have to be very close to a squirrel to kill it using a BB gun. They’re not going to kill these animals humanely.
Instead, you should switch to a powerful pellet gun. While it depends on the power of the model you’re using, the gun can likely be used to kill squirrels, doves, and rabbits.
The good news is that felons can usually own either. If you need a hunting weapon, buy a pellet gun. If you want to shoot targets, either will work.
Felons & Firearm Laws
Remember that some weapons are not classified as firearms according to federal law. Therefore, you have to understand the characteristics that make a gun a regulated firearm.
It might be called a pellet gun, but it might not be considered a prohibited gun for felons. Under federal law, a farm uses burning powder to fire the weapon. It uses some type of explosive. Pellet guns do not.
If you’ve been convicted of a felony crime, you cannot legally own a conventional handgun. Getting caught with one could lead to major issues in the future.
Pellet Gun Laws
It is essential to remember that the laws regarding pellet guns can vary from state to state. According to federal laws, a pellet gun is not a traditional firearm.
Therefore, felons can own them without breaking federal own. Still, it is a good idea to make sure that you’re not going to create bigger problems for yourself.
Before you can own a pellet gun, you have to be 18 or 21. Again, you should check the laws in your state. Half of the states in America have not enacted any laws regarding air guns.
The requirements of owning a pellet gun are slim since they’re not conventional firearms.
You can purchase an air gun or BB gun without getting background checked. Plus, you won’t need to obtain a permit to use the weapon.
Regardless, you’ll have to be a certain age before you can buy pellet guns or pellet ammunition. These weapons are still dangerous. Therefore, you have to be cautious when using them.
Pellet Gun Safety
Felons tend to be heavily scrutinized more than non-felons. Therefore, it is best to go above and beyond to avoid future issues. If you’re going to be using a pellet gun, make sure you’re using it safely.
When using a pellet gun, never point it at someone. Make sure people are out of the way before firing one of these weapons.
You’ll also want to protect your face and eyes when using a BB gun or air rifle. Don’t place your finger on the trigger until you’re ready to fire. Finally, know what is behind and around your target to avoid hitting someone.
Related: Is A Bow Considered A Firearm?
FAQs on Can A Felon Have A BB Gun?
Can Felons Carry BB Guns?
You must remember that BB guns and pellet guns aren’t as dangerous as conventional firearms. Therefore, felons are generally not prohibited from owning a BB gun. Many felons have owned BB guns without getting into trouble.
Still, it is a good idea to avoid carrying a BB gun in public. If police officer sees it, they may believe it is a real gun. Being caught in this type of situation could lead to serious repercussions.
What Kind Of Weapons Can A Felon Have?
Many felons feel it is imperative to defend themselves. Since they can’t own conventional firearms, they will find suitable alternatives.
While it depends on where you live, felons can usually own knives, bows, crossbows, martial arts weapons, and antique firearms.
Just remember that there are specific laws regarding the type of knives and pellet guns you can own. Therefore, you should learn more about the laws in your area before buying a weapon.
Is BB Gun Considered A Firearm?
Under federal law, a BB gun or pellet gun is not considered a firearm. These guns use compressed air to fire the projectile instead of using explosives. Therefore, they’re not considered conventional firearms.
Can Felons Be Around Airsoft Guns?
In general, felons can own and use airsoft guns. Plus, you can be around people who have them. The federal government has not passed any laws prohibiting felons from owning or using airsoft guns.
Robert Gomez was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He currently lives in Northern California with “the wifey,” “the kids,” “the dog,” and “that cat,” 🙁 He is also a former journalist who has interviewed murderers on death row. Felonyfriendlyjobs.org was born to help ex-felons get a second chance in life.