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:
- 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.
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.
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.