After doing time, most felons return to their hobbies. For some, hunting – bow hunting, specifically.
However, the law restrains felons from owning firearms after a felony conviction. This applies to all felons – whether they committed a firearm-related crime or not.
It could be a little tricky for felons to say whether crossbows –as a weapon – also comes under firearms sated by law
This article seeks to proffer an in-depth look into this concern – mostly among ex-convicts. Here are common questions concerning felons’ use of crossbows:
- Are Crossbows firearms?
- Federal anti-gun laws
- Crossbow hunting restrictions
- Does my state laws allow crossbow?
Are Crossbows Firearms?
Firearms are devices that use fast-expanding gasses to expel a projectile. Weapons, on the other side, are devices designed for defense and attack.
So, is a crossbow a firearm? No!
- Now we’ve established crossbows are not firearms. Are felons allowed to own crossbows?
- Since the federal law only kicks against felons owning firearms, nothing restricts them from crossbows.
- So, purchasing, owning, and target-shooting with crossbows is as legal for felons as it is for non-felons.
Read on to understand better:
Federal Ban on Gun
A federal law passed in 1934 denies people with violence-related charges the right to own guns. This was in addition to an existing law that strips off violent felons’ right to own machine guns.
The law remained till the 1968 Gun Control Acts made an amendment which deprived all felons – whether violent or not – access to guns.
This law stands to date.
Beside guns, felons are not allowed to buy, possess, or use any form of ammunition. Felons caught with any ammunition – even a bullet – would be tried and charged with felony again. This time, the sentence will likely be more severe – regardless of crime committed.
There is an exception to the rule though – black powder firearms. Theses are considered antique firearms.
Crossbow Hunting Restriction
State laws differ on their stance about crossbow hunting
Of all states, Oregon completely bans the use of crossbow – both for felons and non-felons.
For some other states, crossbows are only allowed in bow hunting seasons.
Some other states allow only people with a disability to hunt with crossbows. Why?
Crossbows are not same with regular bows. For regular bows, users pull the bow back to shoot. Crossbows are usually locked and loaded. The hunter only aims and shoot. This ease-of-use makes it easier for persons with disability to hunt.`
While it is criminal to own firearms without a permit, this legislation does not affect crossbows.
Are Crossbows Legal in My State?
You have to consult your local lawyer to be sure what the law says about crossbow possession in your state. Remember, all states have their unique laws on possession and use of firearms. So to avoid getting locked up for a crime as simple as using a crossbow, be sure of your state law’s position.
It’s better safe, than sorry.
While it may sound ridiculous to be be kept behind bars for ‘mere’ owning a crossbow, we advise you to take caution.
Under the New York’s and federal laws, compound or traditional bows are not regarded as firearms. However, some local lawyers advise persons who wishes to go on a hunt with crossbows to take a petition for restoration of their rights.
Types of Crossbow
Crossbows are of 2 types: recurve and compound crossbows
This crossbow’s tips curve away from the shooter. Unlike traditional bows, recurve crossbows require a longer draw length.
Shooters, however, need to be careful with this tool. Its design can make it pretty unstable in archers grip. This makes it most ideal for professional archers.
This bow has firmer limbs, which makes it easier to operate – unlike the rescurve version. When loading the bow, the limbs hold energy and reduces the burden on the body.
Compound bows are not only powerful; they shoot super fast.
Help Felon Relatives Bounce Back With Activities they once loved.
If you ever grew up in a family that has a great love for bow hunting, you’d understand what it means for people to leave prison and unable to return to their favorite hobbies.
If you wish to go back to hunting after your time, bow hunting may be your best bet.
While you may not get the same experience as with a rifle, a crossbow remains your best bet – when factoring legality.
Read also: Jobs that hire recent felons
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.