As felons know, owning a firearm is another of the restrictions they face as life after prison begins. Recent blog posts have examined the issues of whether felons are permitted to own various types of weapons.
What about a pellet gun?
This blog post will address the question of whether felons can own a pellet gun.
- What is a Pellet Gun?
- Pellet Gun vs. BB Gun
- Using a Pellet Gun
- Supporting Felons Owning a Pellet Gun
What is a Pellet Gun?
A pellet gun is a type of pneumatic weapon which uses compressed air or CO2 to propel a projectile. Firearms use a propellant charge to shoot. The speed of the projectile is much slower with a pellet gun than a traditional firearm.
Pellet guns actually have a very long history. They date back to the 1700’s, the days of the explorers Lewis and Clark, who used this weapon.
Pellet guns were designed to fire projectiles at speeds similar to the muzzleloader. They had extreme accuracy in firing up to 40 rounds quickly, once the gun had been pumped enough to build up sufficient pressure (about 1500 pumps).
This was a drawback, and they were expensive to manufacture, compared to muzzleloaders. So, they were not often used as weapons.
Pellet Gun vs. BB Gun
Pellet guns can easily be confused with BB guns. They are similar but not the same.
How does a pellet gun compare to a BB gun? Both are pneumatic weapons, but they are still different from each other.
They use slightly different ammunition. BB guns employ round steel ammunition while the shape of ammunition for pellet guns is non-spherical and made of lead.
BB guns have a smooth barrel while pellet guns have rifling in the barrel. Because of the smooth barrel, BB guns shoot at a lower velocity than a pellet gun.
Using a Pellet Gun
Pellet guns are typically used to hunt small game, such as rabbits, squirrels, and doves.
They do have certain advantages over a rifle in hunting. They usually are quieter when fired than a rifle, which can be an advantage in hunting to not scare game away.
A pellet gun and its ammunition are cheaper than a rifle.
However, a pellet gun closely resembles a rifle, which is illegal for felons to possess or use.
Anyone, especially a policeman, who sees a felon carrying a pellet gun may think it is a rifle.
This can put felons in a dangerous situation, carrying a weapon that looks like an illegal rifle.
It is important for felons who enjoy hunting to be able to participate in that activity if they want, but they need to be careful in carrying this weapon.
They should use it only to shoot legal game and not invite trouble by brandishing it carelessly, whether there are police officers nearby or not.
Supporting Felons Owning a Pellet Gun
Families of felons who want to hunt with a pellet gun should remind them of the importance appearance makes to those around them.
Whether it is police or others who may know felons who have a pellet gun, they should take precautions to not give the appearance of having an illegal firearm.
It isn’t worth the aggravation an illegal firearm or the perceived intention of felons carrying it to get in trouble over a weapon that is legal but is seen as being carried in a threatening manner.
This could result in legal action requiring a lawyer, made worse if the previous felony conviction was related to firearms or another violent crime. They should play it safe and not become one of the 2/3 who return to prison within the first couple of years following release.
Hunting is a great past-time for those who enjoy the outdoors and the opportunity to hunt once again as they did in the old days before their felony conviction.
They should ask their loved one if it is worth the risk to have a gun that can be mistaken for a rifle.
If they still want to own one, encourage them to take it seriously and not carry or display it in a menacing manner at any time.
There is a safe way to own and use this weapon. Help them achieve this.
So what do you think about this blog post about can felons own a pellet gun? Have you or someone you know been in this situation? What was that like? Please tell us in the comments below.