BB refers to air guns which are created to shoot projectiles. The term “BB” is the ball bearing or the “bullet ball” shot out by gun. It is around pellet which is about the size of a lead shot in a shotgun shell.
The Second Amendment of US Constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” must not be violated. BB gun owners usually point to the Second Amendment when there is an argument against the state or local BB gun laws.
Federal BB Gun Laws
Federal law limits individuals who can have or possess, or sell a gun. Certain federal laws are extended to the use of BB guns.
If you were sentenced for some crimes, or fall under any of the special classifications or conditions below, you would face a probable criminal penalty under the Brady Act. This particular federal law blocks personal and business ownership, use, and control of a BB gun when you:
- Were sentenced of a crime indictable by imprisonment for more than a year;
- Are hooked to, or illegally use, any controlled substance;
- Are a fugitive from justice;
- Are illegal alien residing in the United States unlawfully;
- Relinquished your US citizenship;
- Was diagnosed as mentally challenged or with mental defect by a court, or are placed in a mental institution;
- Are subjected to a court restraining order involving your “intimate partner,” your partner’s child or children;
- Got a dishonorable discharge from the US Armed Forces; and
- Were sentenced of any domestic violence in any court of a misdemeanor.
Falling into any of the categories above, you can discuss with a local lawyer whether you can still purchase, own, or use a BB gun.
State BB Gun Laws
BB gun laws differ from one state to another state where some states limit BB guns but other states have little or no limitations. California and Massachusetts have broader BB gun laws. California describes a “BB device” as any tool that ejects a projectile like a BB, also called as pellet which does not exceed to 6 mm caliber through force of air pressure, CO2 pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.
It is considered as an offense in California to sell, loan, or transfer a BB gun, or “BB device” to a minor. Federal law demands that imitation guns, including BB guns, to have special colors or marks that will make the law enforcement officers to recognize them as bogus firearms and to avoid shooting an individual armed with a bogus gun that appears to be real.
In the State of Massachusetts, it is unlawful for the children below 18 to own a BB gun or air rifle in any public place except when:
- An adult is with the child/children;
- They have a permit from the chief police in the place they reside; and
- They have a sporting or hunting license with them.
Breaching Massachusetts’ BB gun law is an offense indictable by a fine up to $100, sequestration of the BB gun or air rifle, and probable destruction of the firearm by the Massachusetts State Police.
Michigan law demands that BB guns should be subjected to the same firearm license requirements, safety inspection certificate, and hidden pistol license requirements as other firearms. You will not be able to purchase a pellet air gun in Michigan except when you have a permit.
There are several states that ban people from bringing BB guns in public places, often known as “right to carry.” BB gun owners who travel with their air guns to other states may not be given reciprocity and recognition for any “right to carry” law that they enjoyed in their home state.
BB Guns and Your Legal Rights
If you are operating a BB gun and somebody got hurt, or property is destroyed, you might be facing criminal charges and be responsible in a civil case filed by the people claiming that they were injured. In the same way, if you are accused with illegal use, sale, transfer, or loan of a BB gun, or have been charged of using BB gun in a crime, or are victim, of an injury which involves a BB gun, you must contact for an experienced lawyer immediately to discuss your legal options.
Some legal considerations that a lawyer can review with you comprise the following:
- If you and your family are victims of BB gun violence, whether you can recover damages from the assaulters and their employers.
- Defining the charges of violating a state BB gun law or federal firearms law, including the elements of the crime, probable defenses, and the duration of any possible criminal sentence.
BB Guns: Getting Legal Help
- To find a reliable criminal defense lawyer to defend you from any BB gun-related charges, click here.
BB Gun Safety Tips:
- Follow the state and local BB gun laws and federal firearms laws.
- When you want to use BB gun outside your home state, check applicable local and state BB gun laws for that particular state.
- Never use a BB gun if you have been drinking alcohol or under the influence of drugs.
- When you possess or sell BB guns, you must use extreme care when you are handling these guns. These guns are not toys but they have the ability to severely injure or kill someone.
- Never allow children use BB guns if it is against the law in your place. Even if children are allowed to use BB guns in your state or gown, it is significant that they will be trained to use them safely and under the strict supervision of an adult.
- Make sure that you get safety training and practical experience using a BB gun.