AR15.Com Archives
 Quick Legal Question...Airsoft + pissed off neighbour
Observer  [Member]
11/23/2003 5:42:35 PM
Okay so I'm in Pinellas County Florida (not in city limits, in the county if it makes a difference).

I suppose I should have checked this before starting....but what the hell it's too late now! lol.

I just bought an airsoft mp5 today and was shooting it into a cardboard backstop enclosure in my fenced-in yard when a neighbour from across the street hears it and comes over. He tells me it's illegal to shoot a 'gun' in the neighborhood and what if I miss the backstop, etc. etc.

If I don't stop he's going to call the sheriff.

The whole reason I bought the thing was to plink in the backyard without going to the range.

Is this really illegal?

Can anyone point out the appropriate statutes so I can give him a copy?

Thanks in advance. Hopefully I won't have to retrieve this from the county jail.

-Keith
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Glock31  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 5:46:35 PM
It's not a "gun", it's a toy. As long as you weren't shooting in a way that you could damage someone's property (I don't know how hard they shoot) if you missed then I don't see how it could possibly be illegal. Your neighbor sounds like a PAFT (Parents Against Fun Things) card carrier.
sherm8404  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 5:52:01 PM
Check your local LE opinion. In '89 I wanted to get a paintball gun. My friend told me his town required an FID card.(Concord,MA) I call me town police and they tell me that since the paintball gun is a pistol format, it's concealable and that fires projectiles, I needed a pistol permit.

Weird? Yes. Wrong? Most likely.

But I wasn't going to get my balls broken for something that everyone assumes is a toy everywhere else in the US.

So I got a permit.
FLAL1A  [Member]
11/23/2003 5:52:27 PM
Do a web search for Pinellas County Ordinances or look for them on the county gov't website. No state laws against it. I'd bet $ there're no county ordinances against it either. I don't know how old you are, but you may have to be over 16 to have an "air gun" w/o supervision.

I am not a psychiatrist, but your neighbor may be what mental health professionals refer to as an "asshole."
leo6223  [Member]
11/23/2003 5:52:27 PM
No Florida cop I know is going to arrest you for shooting a toy in your backyard. Well, if the cop wanted to get sued for false arrest and open himself up to losing everything he has civily then maybe he'll arrest you. But aside from that, no you can't be arrested. By the by, in florida to be classified as a firearm the weapon has to make "an explosion" to propel the projectile. Compressed gas is not an explosion. Your best bet is if your neighbor is a level headed person then politely explain that it is a toy (albeit a dangerous one in the wrong hands) and not a firearm. If he is a "oh no guns are eeee-villlll" type person then tell him to go pound sand and continue to have your fun.
lippo  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:15:13 PM
I want to know if moron ended his tyrad with, "watch it...you'll shoot your eye out!"?



Tell your idiot neighbor to get a life and stay out of your business. Tell him it's a toy and that he needs to ask santa for some brains this Christmas.


What the? When I was a kid, I use to walk around our neighborhood with a bb gun all day long and there was never any problem. We even shot at rabbits in peoples yards and they thanked us for taking care of them because, well you know how they multipled. Maybe your neighbor was jealous and wanted to play with your new toy. You know what you should do, buy the swat team outfit that goes with it and walk around your front yard with it on. That would really get him going.
Observer  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:21:47 PM
Thanks for the support.

Okay it's definitely not a firearm (of course *I* knew that already) and the only references to airguns in FL 790 is in regard to minors (which I am not).

I've checked the Pinellas county ordinances and the primary references are 1-to discharge of actual firearms and 2-prohibition against airguns in park areas.

Neither of these appear to be applicable but if no attorneys weigh in on this thread by tomorrow I'll probably consult with one just to be on the safe side.

For the record...yes this neighbour is an asshole and although I didn't know it before he seemed freaked out by the fact that I had it.

More to come as events unfold.

-Keith
DK-Prof  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 6:28:07 PM
Put on a stout pair of jeans (and some thick long underwear underneath) and then give him the Airsoft and tell him to shoot you in the ass. Once he realizes that you neither died or started spraying blood everywhere, maybe he'll chill out.


Did this guy even realize it was a toy? Maybe he thought it was some kind of a supressed real MP5 (a lot of people just have NO clue whatsoever)
jd1  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:34:22 PM
In the city limits of my small home-town in MS, I was shooting a potato cannon into the woods. One of the neighbors comes around. He says "Cool, how do I make one?" He's the same one with a back deck and a 3D archery deer target in his back yard. Most of the other neighbors are older and don't seem to care. If they survived the wild teenage time in the neighborhood they can certainly survive this.

jd1
TNFrank  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:37:08 PM
From what I've heard, in Japan, where they can't own real guns they "play" shoot em' up with air softs. It's kind of like the way we play paint ball but they use air soft guns to shoot each other. Now for god sake, if the Japs can own air softs and shoot each other you for damn sure can shoot one in your back yard at a cardboard target.
De_Professor  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:49:39 PM
I live in Texas....Not bragging (though I probably should)

I moved several months ago from the city limits into the county.

I called my Sheriff's office and let them know what I wanted to shoot:

bb-gun/airsoft
shotgun/rifle
handguns

They informed me that none of the above were a problem as long as I did not harm my neighbor, their livestock, or their property.

My suggestion: Call your local sheriff and ask. The law, case law and their view point are important to you.

my .02
Aimless  [Site Staff]
11/23/2003 6:49:49 PM

Originally Posted By sherm8404:
Check your local LE opinion. In '89 I wanted to get a paintball gun. My friend told me his town required an FID card.(Concord,MA) I call me town police and they tell me that since the paintball gun is a pistol format, it's concealable and that fires projectiles, I needed a pistol permit.

Weird? Yes. Wrong? Most likely.

But I wasn't going to get my balls broken for something that everyone assumes is a toy everywhere else in the US.

So I got a permit.

Sherm, you're kidding? Right? You have a paintball gun listed on your pistol permit? What's it say for caliber 1"?

You're right they're full of it. Pistol permits are necessary for FIREARMS, not paintball guns. I think you should go down and try to register a nail gun.
TNFrank  [Member]
11/23/2003 6:52:32 PM
Paint balls are .68 cal. and from what I've read in New Jersey you can't even order a bb gun. I know , this guy in in NY but I'm just pointing out how crazy some of the laws are on the East coast.
AR15fan  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 7:02:36 PM
Quit focusing on the "gun" issue. If the neighbor wants to fvck you he just needs to be willing to sign an order of arrest for disturbing the peace, then go to court to testify the noise of the Airsoft gun, and the airsoft pellets hitting the target was disturbing him.

The jury probubly wont convict, but you'll still be out court costs and time, and possibly have an arrest record. Then you sue him (not the police) for false arrest..

I have seen "victims" sign orders of arrest over BBQ grill smoke and noisey windchimes.
Aimless  [Site Staff]
11/23/2003 7:07:03 PM

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Quit focusing on the "gun" issue. If the neighbor wants to fvck you he just needs to be willing to sign an order of arrest for disturbing the peace, then go to court to testify the noise of the Airsoft gun, and the airsoft pellets hitting the target was disturbing him.

The jury probubly wont convict, but you'll still be out court costs and time, and possibly have an arrest record. Then you sue him (not the police) for false arrest..

I have seen "victims" sign orders of arrest over BBQ grill smoke and noisey windchimes.

You're kidding? Airsofts hardly make any noise, heck he could have the neighbor arrested for mowing the lawn, that makes more noise.

Damn you've got a tough jurisdiction. If I called the cops over a wind chime they'd ream my ass out (actually a few would do this-> to me) and I know them all!
CS223  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 7:07:49 PM
Tell your asshole yankee neighbor to go fuck himself and the next time he steps foot on your property that you will have a trespass warrant signed against him. If he raises his voice, call the cops & ask them to sign a complaint for assault.

Fact: You can shoot your airsoft all day long on your property, period.

Fact: Pinnalas County, any Florida City etc. cannot enact ANY firearm ordinance contrary to state law.

Tell your neighbor that he's in Florida not Jersey and if he don't like, take I-75 north.
Dru  [Member]
11/23/2003 8:06:04 PM

Originally Posted By CS223:
Tell your asshole yankee neighbor to go fuck himself and the next time he steps foot on your property that you will have a trespass warrant signed against him. If he raises his voice, call the cops & ask them to sign a complaint for assault.

Fact: You can shoot your airsoft all day long on your property, period.

Fact: Pinnalas County, any Florida City etc. cannot enact ANY firearm ordinance contrary to state law.

Tell your neighbor that he's in Florida not Jersey and if he don't like, take I-75 north.




Amen brudder! Dammit you ought'a run for guv'ner!
AR15fan  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 8:40:27 PM

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Quit focusing on the "gun" issue. If the neighbor wants to fvck you he just needs to be willing to sign an order of arrest for disturbing the peace, then go to court to testify the noise of the Airsoft gun, and the airsoft pellets hitting the target was disturbing him.

The jury probubly wont convict, but you'll still be out court costs and time, and possibly have an arrest record. Then you sue him (not the police) for false arrest..

I have seen "victims" sign orders of arrest over BBQ grill smoke and noisey windchimes.

You're kidding? Airsofts hardly make any noise, heck he could have the neighbor arrested for mowing the lawn, that makes more noise.

Damn you've got a tough jurisdiction. If I called the cops over a wind chime they'd ream my ass out (actually a few would do this-> to me) and I know them all!



Yes, one of the worst sections of California law is the section that makes it a Felony to refuse to accept into custody a private persons arrest. Until last year even if I knew it was an unlawfull arrest I had to take the person into custody. At least they changed that, finally.
TexasEd  [Team Member]
11/23/2003 8:59:03 PM

Originally Posted By Glock31:
It's not a "gun", it's a toy. As long as you weren't shooting in a way that you could damage someone's property (I don't know how hard they shoot) if you missed then I don't see how it could possibly be illegal. Your neighbor sounds like a PAFT (Parents Against Fun Things) card carrier.



Just because it's legal to own doesn't mean that it's legal to use in your backyard. Every city has its own ordnances.

In my suburban town in TX, it is specifically illegal to fire a BB or pellet rifle on your own property regardless of backstop, noise level, etc.

Bottom line is that if you live within a city, you need to check local ordnances first.
Donith  [Member]
11/24/2003 4:13:02 AM
Let me get this straight. Your neighbor came onto your property and threatened you? Who's the one who should be calling the police?
snipley  [Member]
11/24/2003 4:41:18 AM
Bottom line a airsoft fires a small plastic pellet they have a effective range of about 100 feet to even sting the skin if they hit (mp5 stock hop up aeg) They would not penetrate fencing, They are as quite as a rubber band gun at least aegs. A Aeg uses a electric motor to drive a pump to force air down the barrel firing the pellet so no c02 cartridge etc. Bottom line let him call the cops. Cop will come to your door and ask if you have been firing a gun in your back yard. Tell him a Airsoft gun and offer to show it to him. Then the cop will laugh. For best results let you neighbor watch for he can see how stupid he is when the cop starts chuckling. Just make sure to have at least 1/2in of red paint on the barrel.
AR_Shorty  [Team Member]
11/24/2003 8:02:58 AM
Observer: Where did you get your MP5 and how much did you have to shell out? I was considering buying one too.
95thFoot  [Team Member]
11/24/2003 8:23:39 AM
[quote]Originally Posted By sherm8404: Check your local LE opinion. In '89 I wanted to get a paintball gun. My friend told me his town required an FID card.[red](Concord,MA)[/red] I call me town police and they tell me that since the paintball gun is a pistol format, it's concealable and that fires projectiles, I needed a pistol permit. [/quote] [BS2] I think your friend has an overactive imagination. Even in MA, the cops know the diff. between a real gun and a paintball gun. And back in '89, with an FID, you could keep a pistol on the premises, but you could not carry it, concealed or otherwise off your property of business. For CCW of a real gun, back then and now, an LTC-A was/is necessary. Paintball guns are not guns and have never been considered guns in MA.
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