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Minnesota Declares BB Guns "Firearms"

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  • Minnesota Declares BB Guns "Firearms"

    I guess that makes a slingshot a missile launcher.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/29...b-gun-firearm/
    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

  • #2
    I guess that makes paintball guns "grenade launchers..."

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi

      It seems that Minnesota is joining several other states that already have some form of regulation concerning air-guns.
      More info here, under the Heading State Law
      http://smartgunlaws.org/non-powder-guns-policy-summary/

      Regards

      Andy H
      "You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." Churchill

      "I'm no reactionary.Christ on the Mountain! I'm as idealistic as Hell" Eisenhower

      Comment


      • #4
        EXCERPT:
        ...Minnesota, where the Court of Appeals ruled on Monday to uphold the conviction of David Lee Haywood for possession of a “firearm” – in this case a Walther CP99 Compact .177-caliber BB gun.

        Haywood wasn’t allowed to own a handgun after a 2005 felony drug conviction, so he was sent back to prison after cops found the BB gun in his glove compartment during a 2013 traffic stop. Haywood argued that a BB gun wasn’t a firearm. The Minnesota statute uses the word “firearm” but never defines it, so Haywood said the accepted definition of “firearm” should apply: a weapon that features a projectile fired by gunpowder. That’s far different from the operation of a BB gun, which uses no gunpowder to expel its shell.

        But Haywood, 37, was sentenced to a mandatory minimum of five years because the appellate court instead used language established in 1977, when the state Supreme Court defined a BB gun as a firearm using wording plucked from the state game and fish laws. Because the state legislature has enacted other laws in the statute since that ruling 38 years ago without adding a new definition, the court’s 1977 explanation has stuck. It can only be changed if the legislature decides to adopt new language or if the state Supreme Court changes the definition.

        “Generally, airguns are not defined as firearms under state or federal law because of the numerous negative effects such a definition would create,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement to FoxNews.com. “In the case of state law, many states use multiple definitions of firearm, some of which may include airguns. For example, airguns will almost always be excluded from definitions governing possession, transfer and use, but may be included for criminal misuse.”
        ...
        From the OP link.

        Hope everyone remembers this when an LEO or citizen shoots someone whom is threatening with use/firing a BB gun, or actually "discharges" it.

        Comment


        • #5
          Minnesota lawmakers show difficulty grasping the definition of fire.
          A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
            Minnesota lawmakers show difficulty grasping the definition of fire.
            Their weapon of choice for home defense is the Red Ryder lever-action air-rifle. Just might put the home-intruder's eye out.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Andy H View Post
              Hi

              It seems that Minnesota is joining several other states that already have some form of regulation concerning air-guns.
              More info here, under the Heading State Law
              http://smartgunlaws.org/non-powder-guns-policy-summary/

              Regards

              Andy H
              I'm confused. According to your post, it is not a violation of Federal law to prohibit the sale of "non-powder" guns except to children; therefore, their use cannot be prohibited either, since the individual states are obligated to follow Federal laws.
              Last edited by Mountain Man; 30 Sep 15, 17:16.
              Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by G David Bock View Post
                Their weapon of choice for home defense is the Red Ryder lever-action air-rifle. Just might put the home-intruder's eye out.
                And it has a compass in the stock!
                A new life awaits you in the off world colonies; the chance to begin again in a golden land of opportunity and adventure!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Pirateship1982 View Post
                  And it has a compass in the stock!
                  That would only help if it were a moral compass...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Generally speaking, from a standpoint of 'field use' of criminal statutes, cops might completely ignore airguns/paintball guns/airsoft guns except in these four cases:

                    Armed Robbery: The statute says (in my state, and pretty typically) Firearm or other Dangerous or Deadly Weapon. A BB gun or other weapon like that would be considered Dangerous if used in an assaultive manner with disregard for the safety of the target. So it applies. Furthermore, it's obvious that the weapon was being used AS a firearm to coerce cooperation from the victim, in the exact same manner as one might use a real pistol or any other weapon. It was intended by the perpetrator to be seen as a handgun, thus they are charged as if it were a handgun.

                    Carry Concealed Weapon: Again, it's more of an intent thing. It is technically a weapon. And if it's being illegally concealed for the purpose of 'personal protection' or other reasons in the same manner and with the intent for utilizing it in the same way as one would utilize a concealed handgun, then in the field it would apply.

                    Assault by Pointing a Gun: Again, it's a matter of intent. The perpetrator is intending to intimidate or coerce the victim with said airgun, and with the expectation that the victim believes the gun to be real. Thus to the victim the gun is real, even if reality it is an airsoft pistol. I would argue that they were then assaulted by the pointing of a gun.....the defense would have to prove that the gun wasn't real and that there was no intent to threaten the victim by the assumption of the gun being real.

                    Possession of Firearm by Felon: This is one where I'd say some discretion would be in order. Red Ryder in the house of a convicted felon? Is that all, the simple presence of a BB gun in the residence, with no associated crime or threat of crime around it? Does the felon have children or other persons in the house to whom the BB gun might belong or be used by? Things get kind of murky there, and I'd probably consult someone with a lot more experience, or an ADA before charging something like that. Pellet pistol that looks like a handgun found in the glovebox? Well, you have another crime being committed as well, and the felon's intent is to use the pellet pistol as if it were a handgun. Now you're getting into territory where it's easier to prove that the Felon is actively attempting to flout the law by using a weapon that one might argue could technically be outside the definition of firearm. I'd charge that, and make the defense argue the technicalities. Especially if there were other circumstances.
                    Tacitos, Satrap of Kyrene

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well I'd argue on the capability of said weapon to be a threat or lethality.

                      If a said bozo was using a bb-gun to commit crimes I'd throw the book at him.

                      Now there's a category of air-rifles that are lethal. The Airrow comes to mind.

                      http://www.swivelmachine.com/html/stealth.htm

                      But should that be illegal for the common 'man' to posses? I think not. I happen to trust my fellow citizen to freely obtain such arms.

                      Unless they are a convicted felon. Then their rights should be restricted. No guns for you...
                      Credo quia absurdum.


                      Quantum mechanics describes nature as absurd from the point of view of common sense. And yet it fully agrees with experiment. So I hope you can accept nature as She is - absurd! - Richard Feynman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We all know who is behind the war on BB guns:
                        “When you're in jail, a good friend will be trying to bail you out. A best friend will be in the cell next to you saying, 'Damn, that was fun'.”
                        ― Groucho Marx

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally Posted by G David Bock
                          Their weapon of choice for home defense is the Red Ryder lever-action air-rifle. Just might put the home-intruder's eye out.
                          But far more effective if you buy it with the optional APFSDS rounds! And next year they're releasing depleted uranium BB's for the critters wearing vests!
                          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Strangely, in Canada BB guns aren't firearms ...

                            Originally posted by Mountain Man View Post
                            I guess that makes a slingshot a missile launcher.

                            http://www.foxnews.com/us/2015/09/29...b-gun-firearm/
                            ... unless they are air guns with both a high muzzle velocity (greater than 152.4 metres or 500 feet per second) and a high muzzle energy (greater than 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot-pounds); not likely for BB guns. But, as TacCovert4 has so ably pointed out for his state, a BB or air gun that does not meet the above criteria, can still be considered to be a firearm under the Criminal Code of Canada if used to commit a crime.

                            Courtesy of the RCMP site:

                            Air Guns

                            There are two general types of air guns (also known as BB guns, pellet guns, spring guns or air soft guns):

                            air (pneumatic system), and
                            spring (spring-air)
                            A third type, gas (CO2/nitrogen), even though they are not, strictly speaking, "air guns," are subject to the same rules set out below. For purposes of the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code, air guns can be further divided into four categories:

                            1. Air guns that are firearms for purposes of both the Firearms Act and the Criminal Code

                            These are air guns with both a high muzzle velocity (greater than 152.4 metres or 500 feet per second) and a high muzzle energy (greater than 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot-pounds). The "muzzle velocity" is the speed of a projectile at the instant it leaves the muzzle of a gun, normally expressed in metres per second or feet per second. The "muzzle energy" is the energy of a projectile at the instant it leaves the muzzle of a gun, expressed in joules or foot-pounds. Air guns need to meet both standards to be classified as firearms for purposes of the Firearms Act.

                            These high-powered air guns are subject to the same licence and registration requirements as a conventional firearm. Owners and users are also required to store, transport, display and handle them safely in accordance with the regulations supporting the Firearms Act.

                            Usually, the manufacturer's specifications are used to determine what muzzle velocity and muzzle energy an air gun was designed to have. This information may be available in the user's manual or on the manufacturer's website. If the information is not available, individuals can call the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Canadian Firearms Program (CFP) at 1-800-731-4000 and ask to speak to a firearm technician to find out if the air gun is considered to be a firearm for purposes of the Firearms Act.

                            High-powered air rifles are generally classified as non-restricted firearms. However, the classification depends on the exact design of the air gun. Air rifles manufactured to resemble an assault rifle could be non-restricted, restricted or prohibited depending on the exact model imitated. High-powered air rifles would also be prohibited firearms if fully automatic or if they have a sawed-off barrel. They could also be restricted firearms if they have a folding stock that reduces the overall length to less than 660mm.

                            2. Air guns that meet the Criminal Code definition of a firearm, but are deemed not to be firearms for certain purposes of the Firearms Act and Criminal Code

                            These are air guns with a maximum muzzle velocity of 152.4 metres or 500 feet per second and/or a maximum muzzle energy of 5.7 joules or 4.2 foot-pounds. Such air guns are exempt from licensing, registration, and other requirements under the Firearms Act, and from penalties set out in the Criminal Code for possessing a firearm without a valid licence or registration certificate.

                            However, they are considered to be firearms under the Criminal Code if they are used to commit a crime. Anyone who uses such an air gun to commit a crime faces the same penalties as someone who uses a regular firearm.

                            The simple possession, acquisition and use of these air guns for lawful purposes are regulated more by provincial and municipal laws and by-laws than by federal law. For example, some provinces may have set a minimum age for acquiring such an air gun. For more information, please contact your local or provincial authorities.

                            These air guns are exempt from the specific safe storage, transportation and handling requirements set out in the regulations supporting the Firearms Act. However, the Criminal Code requires that reasonable precautions be taken to use, carry, handle, store, transport and ship them in a safe and secure manner.

                            3. Air guns that are replica firearms

                            These are air guns not powerful enough to cause serious injury or death, but designed to resemble a real firearm with near precision. Replica firearms, except for replicas of antique firearms, are classified as prohibited devices.

                            In particular, some air guns commonly known as air soft guns may fall into this category. These are devices that have a low muzzle velocity and muzzle energy, and that usually discharge projectiles made out of a substance such as plastic or wax rather than metal. An airsoft gun, firing a .20g 6mm plastic pellet with a muzzle velocity below 111.6 m/s (366 fps), and resembling with near precision an existing make and model of a firearm, other than an antique firearm, is a replica firearm and therefore a prohibited device.

                            Although replica firearms are prohibited, individuals may keep those they owned on December 1, 1998. It is not necessary to have a licence to possess them, and they do not need to be registered. However, an individual cannot import or acquire a replica firearm. If a replica firearm is taken out of Canada, it will not be allowed back in.
                            The Criminal Code sets out penalties for using a replica firearm or any other imitation firearm to commit a crime.

                            The CFP receives many enquiries from people wondering whether a low-powered air gun would be considered a replica if it resembles a ream firearm in terms of its shape, but it is made of clear or brightly coloured plastic, or has significant dimensional differences. Many of these devices need to be assessed on a case-by case basis. As a general rule, however, devices significantly smaller or larger than the real version are not classified as replica firearms.

                            4. Air guns that are neither firearms nor replicas

                            These are air guns that are not powerful enough to be classified as firearms and that do not resemble a real firearm closely enough to be considered a replica. An example would be a harmless air gun made out of clear plastic or a device that is obviously a child's toy.

                            Like replicas, they generally fall within the definition of an "imitation firearm" and may be subject to some penalties under the Criminal Code if used to commit a crime.
                            "I am Groot"
                            - Groot

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Firearm:



                              .30-06 Ruger bolt action rifle

                              Not a firearm:



                              1895 Winchester Krag .30-06 lever action rifle

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