Posted on August 23, 2017

Is a BB Gun considered a Firearm?

The Federal National Firearms Act, inclusively defines the term “firearm” as a shotgun, a rifle, silencer, machinegun, and a destructive device but excludes antiques primarily valued as collectors’ items not likely to be used as a weapon. The act also includes any other weapon or device capable or being concealed on the person and from which a shot can be discharged through the energy of an explosive, including a pistol or revolver, and weapons with combination shotgun and rifle barrels, and which may be readily stored to fire.

In California, a “firearm” means a device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force or an explosion or other form of combustion. However, toy guns obviously do not qualify as a “firearm” nor do pellet guns or BB guns because, instead of explosion or other chemical combustion, they use the force or air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action to expel a projectile.

Therefore, since a BB gun does not use any form of combustion, but instead relies upon spring action, it does not fall within the statutory scheme of a firearm. However, a BB gun does qualify as a “deadly weapon”. For more information, contact an Orange County criminal defense lawyer at the Law Offices of John D. Rogers.

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