Can Felons Own a Pellet Gun?
Civilian Rights Firearms

Can Felons Own a Pellet Gun?

Can felons own a pellet gun
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As a felon wanting to return to hunting, you probably already know many of the challenges. One of these is, how do you hunt if you can’t own or use a firearm? One way is to switch to a different weapon. One of these could be something like a pellet gun.

Can a felon own a pellet gun? We’ll answer that question here.

In this blog post, we’ll cover the following:

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  • What Is a Pellet Gun?
  • Is a Pellet Gun a Firearm?
  • Requirements to Own a Pellet Gun
  • Hunting With a Pellet Gun
  • What Does That Mean for Felons

What Is a Pellet Gun?

A pellet gun is any type of air gun capable of shooting pellets, mostly made of lead, by using pressurized air or CO2 to propel a projectile. The speed of the projectile is much slower in a pellet gun than with a traditional gun that utilizes a propellant.

Non-spherical projectiles are fired from a pellet gun at speeds similar to that of a muzzleloader. Pellet guns have been in use since colonial times in the U.S.

When you hear the term pellet gun, or air gun, you might think of a BB gun, which is similar but not identical.  

How does a pellet gun compare to a BB gun? Both are pneumatic weapons, but they use slightly different ammunition.  

BB guns employ round steel ammunition while the shape of ammunition for pellet guns is a different shape and is made of lead.  

BB guns have a smooth barrel while air guns have rifling in the barrel. Because of the smooth barrel, BB guns shoot at a lower velocity than a pellet gun.

Because of this difference in velocity of firing, a pellet gun can be used for hunting while a BB gun does not make a good hunting piece.

Pellet guns are typically used to hunt small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and doves. There are some advantages over a rifle for hunting.  

Air guns are easy to use whether you are experienced with guns or are a relative beginner.

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They usually are quieter to fire than a rifle, which is an advantage when hunting, so you don’t scare game away. They also cock and fire easily, typically requiring less force or muscle power to operate.

An air gun is quite accurate, making them a great piece to use for hunting. This is due to the shape of the pellet along with the rifled barrel through which the projectile travels.

Is a Pellet Gun a Firearm?

Just because it has the word gun in its name doesn’t make a pellet gun a firearm.

A firearm uses pressure from a burning powder to fire, and it fires a projectile from a metal tube.

As you already know, it is illegal for anyone who has been convicted of a felony to own or use a firearm because of the Gun Control Act. Violating this statute will result in a Class 6 felony. 

Requirements to Own a Pellet Gun

There are no federal air gun laws, though each state has its own statutes. More than half of the states do not have air gun laws.

Various states and regions have different laws regarding pellet or air guns. An air pistol or an air rifle is considered to be a non-powder gun. 

There you have it. A pellet gun is not considered to be a firearm. Therefore, the requirements to own one are different. 

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You don’t need a permit to own an air gun as you do a typical firearm. Because air guns are not standard guns or weapons, the laws to own one are different.

However, you must be at least 18 or even 21 years old to legally buy a pellet gun.

So, you can purchase and use an air gun.

Hunting With a Pellet Gun

Just because you can buy an air gun doesn’t mean that you can hunt with it. You will still need a hunting license to be able to hunt legally. Each state has its own laws on that. 

However, recent changes to the law no longer make it necessary to have a hunting license for any air gun that has a muzzle velocity of less than 20 joules.

It is still important to make sure you are not in violation of the law, so remember to check those laws for getting a hunting license and be aware of hunting season.

What Does That Mean for Felons?

It is better to be cautious. To not do so could result in being arrested and possibly going back to prison. Be sure to consult an attorney if you have any doubts or questions.

Don’t make the kind of mistakes you did in the past. You are not defined by your mistakes but in how you recover from them.

So what do you think about this blog post about whether a felon can own a pellet gun? Have you or someone you know been in this situation? What was that like and what happened? Please tell us in the comments below.

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13 responses to “Can Felons Own a Pellet Gun?”

  1. Strgazer says:

    In Oklahoma felons can NOT own a crossbow. Just went thru this with a friend of mine.

  2. David says:

    Can a felon own and hunt with these new air powered rifles that actually shoot 45 caliber rounds

  3. Jeff mabry says:

    Ok y’all. Airsoft guns are the weakest most harmless of all airguns. They fire plastic projectiles at very slow speeds. They could never be used to hunt Anything

  4. Mike says:

    Completely incorrect…sorry to tell you. An Airsoft rifle shooting at 350fps+ can kill a small animal such as a squirrel, rabbit, or w/e rodent. Why? Because they shoot fast…and at that speed(projectile speed)… repeated shots can kill them.

  5. Clayborn Lewis says:

    I’ve got a 58 caliber air pistol , that will drop a buffalo with one shot. and it is an air pistol. so don’t be fooled air pistols can kill just as well as firearms… but the one I own is totally legal for a felon to own . because it is just what I said an air pistol……

  6. Clayborn Lewis says:

    you my friend are absolutely correct . they’ve got 50 caliber air rifles out there that will drop a deer with one shot from 40 yards away…

  7. James McNab says:

    LMFAO ….Hunting with a AIRSOFT!!! Wow. Airsoft is a SPORT, just like paintball, using 6mm plastic BBs. the guns are electric, compressed gas or use a spring. 400 fps is the max for competition play.

  8. Jon says:

    I had a felony when I was 18 years old. I am now 48 and this is still effecting my life in a very negative way. I was homeless and broke into a vacation home for food. I served a year in jail.
    I just got my first big bore air rifle and I cAn hunt for the first time in my adult life.
    There should be a second chance to regain my constitutional rights.

  9. JB says:

    Fyi, (I feel similar) your rights are NOT given to you by the Constitution, though it is supposed to protect the violation of certain inalienable rights granted to you @ birth by God.

  10. Charles R says:

    I feel none violent felonies should be able to hunt with ragulator fire arms the people that make some law’s get out of hand

  11. Hans Stoffregen says:

    I am a convicted felon and have been my entire adult life. At 70 years of age and with the world around me getting crazier by the day, it’s not my inability to hot with a firearm that concerns me. It is my inability to protect my home and my loved ones. The idea that I would be required to put myself at the mercy of someone invading my home and having to wait for the police to respond to my phone call is insane!

  12. Jeremy says:

    I totally agree. I payed my debt to society. If I’m going to be prosecuted for my natural born life for a long ago mistake its definitely against my civil rights I can’t get a decent job I can’t get into the better housing. I’m then forced to go defenceless and subject to any tyranny or and violence that anyone sees fit. That is a direct attack on my civil rights and a spit in the eye of our founding fathers who where smugglers, gamblers and a list of felonies before the war. Morgan the hero of cowpens was a arsonist, with assault with a deadly. Adams was smuggling rum. George Washington had a billiard table in his home. felons are the new persecuted people

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