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Legal issues

Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:22 pm

I'm sure everyone here is familiar with the letter from the ATF regarding the legality of spud guns. That letter, however, makes no mention of pneumatic spud guns, only combustion. Moreover, it only considers combustion guns that are muzzle loaded and propelled using an aerosol substance.

Where does that leave those of us who use pneumatics and other non-aerosol powered guns? How about breech* loaders?


In my state, a firearm is defined as:
"Firearm" means any handgun, rifle, shotgun, machine gun, automatic or semi-automatic rifle, or any gun, device or instrument in the nature of a weapon from which may be fired or ejected any solid projectable ball, slug, pellet, missile or bullet, or any gas, vapor or other noxious thing, by means of a cartridge or shell or by the action of an explosive or the igniting of flammable or explosive substances. It shall also include, without limitation, any firearm which is in the nature of an air gun, spring gun or pistol or other weapon of a similar nature in which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, compressed or other gas or vapor, air or compressed air, or is ignited by compressed air, and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in
diameter
, with sufficient force to injure a person.


My next project is going to be a semi-automatic nerf launcher.
It will be powered by carbon dioxide.
Each nerf dart will be 1/2" in diameter.
Each nerf dart will be contained in a "shell".
The loaded shells will enter the gun through a breech*, and the spent shells will be ejected out of a side port.

Some of the features of my project would possibly cause it to fall under the category of a firearm, though I think there may be certain loopholes.

First, the ammo will be foam cord cut to 2" lengths. I'm not sure if foam meets the requirement of a solid projectile.

Second, the "shells" it uses are not quite shells in the sense that they do not contain any propellant like a real weapon, they just house the projectiles because they are too flimsy load properly on their own.

Third, the darts are 1/2" in diameter. 1/2" > 3/8"

Fourth, the velocity will be regulated to a VERY safe level and injuries will not be possible.

The launcher will be used in recreational nerf wars with my friends. We've been doing this for two summers using actual toy nerf launchers. The police in town have always been aware of it and have had no problems with our games.

I'm afraid that I will get in trouble for using this launcher, though I don't see it as being much different than ordinary nerf launchers we've been using. There are several toy Nerf guns that I've seen which use compressed air bladders and others which use shells. If those are okay, mine should be as well.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Or at least on the point I raised about the ATF letter?

Any input is much appreciated.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Many commercial airguns fall into this category but as far as I know are unregulated in the US, so what's the problem?
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Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:33 pm

A gun permit is required to purchase an airgun in my state.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:41 pm

Are paintball guns regulated too? Because in that case, will your launcher be shooting nerf darts with sufficient force to injure a person more than a paintball can?
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Unread postAuthor: PVC Arsenal 17 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:01 pm

You need to be 18 to buy a paintball gun but anyone can use them. And no, my launcher won't have anywhere near the power of a paintball gun.
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Unread postAuthor: jackssmirkingrevenge » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:03 pm

Then build it when you're PVC Arsenal 18 :roll: :wink:
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Unread postAuthor: Ragnarok » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:09 pm

I'm not entirely sure you picked up on this word:
... and ejecting a bullet or missile smaller than three-eighths of an inch in diameter

Your 1/2" calibre, being larger than 3/8", isn't included within the category.

~~~~~

Alternatively, you can work on a different principle that many less legally-privileged spudders have for years: Don't get caught.
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Does that thing kinda look like a big cat to you?
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Unread postAuthor: jonnyboy » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:21 pm

While it may or may not be legal it's like rolling through a rural stop sign at 3 in the morning. Sure it's illegal but well you get where I'm going with this.

Just don't be stupid.
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mobile chernobyl wrote:I can shoot a Canuter Valve off my '82 Chevy Ram F150 AT LEAST 3/4 Mile with 'ma cannon made of soup cans duct taped together, then I just squirt some bacardi 151 in the chamber and hold up my cigarrete lighta and WHOOSH! That thing flies at least 3/4 mile
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