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Does it count as a firearm?

Post questions and info about combustion (flammable vapor) powered cannons here. This includes discussion about fuels, ratios, ignition systems, safety, and anything else relevant.
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Does it count as a firearm?

Unread postAuthor: The Game » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:29 pm

I was just wondering if the cops could bust me for having an unlicensed firearm. I have a typical combustion potato cannon.
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Unread postAuthor: dudeman508 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:41 pm

That depends on where you live.
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Unread postAuthor: c11man » Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:47 pm

But most likely not
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Unread postAuthor: jmadden91 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:32 pm

c11man wrote:But most likely not


Wrong. Here in Australia it is considered a firearm. But if you use it considerately to avoid complaints, you should not have too much trouble with the police.

So indeed it does depend entirely on where you live
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Unread postAuthor: KineticAmbitions » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:39 pm

In most places, the cops require a warrant to enter private property without the owner's permission. To get a warrant, they need to convince a judge that, one, a crime has occurred, and two, that there is reason to believe that you have something to do with it (or pay him a sufficiently large sum of money to forget about two, but this is predicate on the first condition, as they don't often try to frame people for crimes that never even occurred, and if they did, it would be shear luck if they went after you for something so benign as illegal firearms).

What this boils down to is that if the police have no way of finding out who owns the cannon, they won't be able to search your property. Alternatively, it is also unlikely that your property will be searched if they don't know that the cannon exists at all. If they have some idea of both, then you may be in for a problem, but it still depends on how malicious and desperate for attention your police force is.

I'm not aware of anywhere in the world where spudguns are completely legal to own and use, so this should hold true regardless of where you live.
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:44 pm

jmadden91 wrote:
c11man wrote:But most likely not


Wrong. Here in Australia it is considered a firearm.

Sure... But do MOST users of this board live in Australia? Nope. Ergo, MOST LIKELY, Australian law does not apply. MOST LIKELY, US law applies.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:45 pm

Well if you're caught out shooting, then you're screwed. I rarely hear of people getting caught with a spudgun when it's in their house, it's usually when you're out shooting and someone reports you.

If the cops have reasonable cause to believe you have a Spudgun, they can search your house for a spudgun. It's not like the cops see you, you run inside and they can't do anything.
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Unread postAuthor: smiley_666 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:59 pm

jmadden91 wrote:
Wrong. Here in Australia it is considered a firearm. But if you use it considerately to avoid complaints, you should not have too much trouble with the police.

So indeed it does depend entirely on where you live

even then it might not be true, as i was looking on the SApol site last night. ill edit this later with the correct info
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Unread postAuthor: D_Hall » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:05 pm

MrCrowley wrote:Well if you're caught out shooting, then you're screwed.

Even then it depends on where you live.

The ATF is on the record as saying that spud guns are not firearms and they have no interest in regulating them. As such, there shouldn't be any federal level charges, period. After all, the feds don't consider them firearms.

HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that state, counties, or cities can't have their own set of laws. Clearly, they can. Blah blah blah...

...Point being that around here if you're out shooting it and a ranger drives up, he's probably gonna want to give it a whirl himself.
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Unread postAuthor: MrCrowley » Tue Aug 11, 2009 11:20 pm

D_Hall wrote:
MrCrowley wrote:Well if you're caught out shooting, then you're screwed.

Even then it depends on where you live.

Sorry, to clarify I was replying to the post above mine, about how it is illegal in Australia.

My point was that most people get caught when out shooting, not when a cop believes you have a spudgun in your house.
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Unread postAuthor: jagerbond » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:34 am

Guys, I figure I'll chime in here. I have a meeting with an ATF representative scheduled next week concerning our UHMW and PVC rounds. My Gun shop retailers want insurance that they can keep selling with out issues. I'll post the feedback here as it seems a little unclear with the current documents with regards to projectiles.

If anyone has relevant and reasonable questions they want to pass on, I will attempt to get answered.

Best,
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:47 am

jagerbond wrote:Guys, I figure I'll chime in here. I have a meeting with an ATF representative scheduled next week concerning our UHMW and PVC rounds. My Gun shop retailers want insurance that they can keep selling with out issues.


Good luck with that, let's hope they don't get classified as destructive devices.
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Unread postAuthor: ralphd » Wed Aug 12, 2009 5:56 am

I was told that if you are in an area which is safe to fire a gun it is ok to fire a spudgun. To be on the safe side don't shoot it at night or early in the morning, don't fire it many times in a row, don't use it with alcohol and don't start targeting the neighbor's cat.
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Unread postAuthor: jeepkahn » Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:58 am

jagerbond wrote:Guys, I figure I'll chime in here. I have a meeting with an ATF representative scheduled next week concerning our UHMW and PVC rounds. My Gun shop retailers want insurance that they can keep selling with out issues. I'll post the feedback here as it seems a little unclear with the current documents with regards to projectiles.

If anyone has relevant and reasonable questions they want to pass on, I will attempt to get answered.

Best,


Just add a string attachment point to the rounds and call it a "monkeyfist"... And promote them to radio enthusiests, treeworkers/arborists, etc....
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Wed Aug 12, 2009 8:45 am

As far as the "What law should we promote" question....

Best estimates put the forum's population at about 2/3rds American*, but not all US states, counties and towns permit spudgun use.

Working from what I know of laws in different countries/states and the percentage of our members from each, I would say that we're looking at a ~40% likelihood of saying "No, it's not illegal" being wrong.

Personally, I wouldn't be making statements like "But most likely not" on a 60% chance of being right.
It's true in the strictest sense, but most people will take "likely" to represent a greater chance of probability than that.

Given the very possibility of misinforming someone, you should really hold your tongue until you know where they're from.
Really, given the possible price of being wrong, the default state should be to assume them illegal until told otherwise.

Then again, legality is a tough question.

If the police want it to be illegal, they can probably push it anywhere in the world - it might be on charges of manufacture, possession, where it was used... they can probably get you charged for something if they really want. They're unlikely to try unless you've been a dick, but they can.

On the flipside, I've heard of situations where they are illegal, but they've been shown to cops and got responses like "Wow, neat", because the person seemed entirely reasonable.

The obvious point in any case is that if the cops don't know, they can't charge you.
Also, if you're behaving in a considerate and reasonable manner, they're less likely to cause you a problem. The inverse applies.

~~~~~

* Interestingly though, if you look at our highest posting members, of the top 30, only 14 are from the US.
The top 3 (Jack, Crowley and myself) are all non-US, with 8% of the total forum post count between us.

On the those levels, the percentages start to flip - and I do know why, but this is not the place to discuss it.
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