I saw this article in the paper today when I was taking my lunch break.
I can't beleive they are classifying them as firearms.
Airsoft guns offer sport, but create challenges for law enforcement
By Dave Cox
On the red felt surface of the poker table in front of me was a collection of weapons.
Some were equipped with laser sights, and some with extra magazines that could hold up to 600 rounds of ammunition.
A few of the weapons could fire only one shot at a time, but most could be set to fire in semi-automatic mode, and some could be set to full-automatic, and would fire repeatedly as long as the trigger was held back.
I was not in a SWAT team briefing room, or in the bunker of some civilian militia group.
I was in the home of a Lester Prairie high school student.
The weapons were airsoft air guns.
The ammunition of choice is plastic BBs.
The students began collecting the weapons last year.
Beau Weise said his brother introduced him to the sport.
“He and his buddies at college get together, and sometimes there are 15 or 20 of them playing war games,” Weise said.
The students considered getting paint ball guns, but chose the airsoft guns because they are inexpensive and convenient.
The guns can be purchased for as little as $10 or $12.
Ammunition, in the form of plastic BBs, can be purchased for about $5 for a package of 5,000.
The students said this makes the air guns much cheaper than paintball.
They also like the guns because they do not require the cleaning of paint ball guns, and they do not have to worry about paint staining their clothes.
The airsoft guns are rechargeable, and have spring-loaded firing mechanisms.
This is cheaper and more convenient than products that use CO2 cylinders, and the airsoft guns fire at a lower velocity, so the BBs hurt less, the students said.
They do have some rules.
No one is allowed to use metal BBs, there is no aiming above the shoulders, and everyone wears eye protection.
The students are waiting for warm weather so they can take their war games outdoors. They said they will probably play in the woods where they can hide behind trees and other obstacles.
These students use the guns for fun and sporting games, but there is another side to the story.
Legally, air guns are weapons.
McLeod County District Court records show that 18-year old Jacob Newman of Lester Prairie was charged with a felony last October for an incident involving an air gun.
Newman was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property, which carries a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment and/or $5,000 fine; and furnishing an airgun to minors, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or $20,000 fine.
When asked about air guns, Lester Prairie Police Chief Bob Carlson said, “It is something we are dealing with.”
The Lester Prairie ordinance that applies to firearms also covers air guns.
Under the ordinance, the term “deadly weapon” includes all firearms.
The ordinance states “Firearms shall mean any device from which may be fired or ejected, one or more solid projectiles, by means of a cartridge or shell, or by the action of an explosive substance; or for which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band, carbon dioxide, air or other gas vapor.”
The definition of “deadly weapon” also includes, “All instruments used to propel a high-velocity pellet of any kind, including, but not limited to, air rifles and compressed air guns.”
The ordinance also prohibits concealment, discharge and use of deadly weapons within the City of Lester Prairie.
Selling or furnishing a deadly weapon to a minor under the age of 18 without the written consent of his parent or guardian is also prohibited.
“You can’t use anything that fires a projectile within the city limits,” Carlson said.
The low cost and realistic appearance of air guns has made the weapons attractive to some criminals.
A USA Today story reported that since July 2004, police in 11 states, including Minnesota, have recorded a total of more than 50 robberies involving BB guns.
The story also stated that in Ohio and Philadelphia, would-be robbers with BB guns were shot by people they were allegedly threatening.
USA Today also reported that in Minneapolis last may, police confiscated a BB pistol and arrested a 19-year-old man and 18-year-old man in connection with 22 late-night robberies of pedestrians in the uptown area.
The realistic appearance of the guns can pose special problems for law enforcement officials.
In Longwood, Fla., a sheriff’s deputy fatally shot 15-year-old Christopher Penley during a confrontation at his school. The youth pointed what appeared to be a Beretta pistol at officers; it turned out to be a pellet gun, according to the USA Today report.
Ban them for the children. And forks also. And those pesky paperclips.
I'll try to post the pic from the article tomorrow
Next, lets ban rubber knives.....its for the children.
wtf, this person must not have ever learned about commas in sentences. i feel as though i'm reading something a 5th grader could write.
george likes guns. guns are fun. george likes to shoot guns. guns also shoot plastic bbs. they can be bought at stores. one store they can be found at is walmart. walmart sucks. plastic bbs at sucky walmart are cheap.....
"The ordinance states “Firearms shall mean any device from which may be fired or ejected, one or more solid projectiles, by means of a cartridge or shell, or by the action of an explosive substance; or for which the propelling force is a spring, elastic band,
This means a slingshot is a "Firearm" according to their statute.
What pinhead wrote this crap?
And don't forget the assault spork.......
Anyone who decides to take this to court could make the reasonable charge that this is an unreasonable law, infringement on a Constitutional right.
Creative writing of laws is what will spell the end of our republic.
A "Firearm" should be defined as one which uses "Fire" to expel a projectile.
A "Deadly Weapon" is one that can be deadly to People. Not insects or invertebrates, People. Airsoft could possibly put your eye out, but they are not deadly by any stretch of the imagination.
The person who wrote those "laws" should be fired and then jailed for impersonating a public official.
I couldn't agree more, here's the common definition of
fire·arm ( P ) Pronunciation Key (frärm)
A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile and using an explosive charge as a propellant.
I'd guess they think they can preempt state law by just creating their own definitions.
It's stupid that this is a problem, BUT I fully agree with the law treating someone using a airsoft/pellet/BB/rubberband gun as if they pulled out a real gun. If your INTENT is to convince someone that you have a deadly weapon and coerce them to do something, you should be treated as if you presented a deadly weapon. That goes for the old candy bar in the shirt act too.
Let the kids have their fun, but if they act irresponsibly, bring the full force of the law down on THE OFFENDER, not the weapon used.
People need to mind their own buisness.
An air powered weapon...is NOT a firearm, no fire involved.
"Discharging" anything that launches a projectile of any kind (this would include spitballs and slingshots) within city limits is illegal here too.
9.56.010 Dangerous weapon defined.
For the purposes of this chapter, "dangerous weapon" means any air rifle, B-B gun, air gun, sling, slingshot, or other instrument or device designed or intended to discharge or capable of discharging a missile of any kind. (Ord. 153 § 1, 1979)
9.56.020 Shooting within the city.
Every person who shoots a dangerous weapon in the city is guilty of a misdemeanor except:
A. If said shooting takes place on a lawfully operated shooting range, which shooting range has been approved by the planning commission and which operates in accordance with safety regulations approved by the chief of police;
B. A peace officer in the performance of an official duty. (Ord. 153 § 2, 1979)
Actually , that Towns Law might well be overturned if Challenged in Court.
Minnesota has a Preemption Law concerning Firearms - which means no Local Govt.
can pass Laws stricter than the State Regulations.
Minnesota Stat. § 471.633 expressly preempts all local governments from enacting legislation regulating firearms, ammunition, or their respective components. The legislature has enacted various exceptions to section 471.633. Pursuant to these exceptions, local governments have authority to pass the following types of legislation:
Regulation of the discharge of firearms. Section 471.633(a);
Regulation identical to state law. Section 471.633(b);
Reasonable, nondiscriminatory and nonarbitrary zoning ordinances regarding the location of businesses where firearms are sold by a firearms dealer. Section 471.635; and
County regulation of secondhand and junk dealers. Section 471.924.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
While they may be able to regulate airguns and the like , by Lumping them in with
Firearms under the same Statute , they are playing with Fire.
A good Lawyer could probably cut them to shreds
Posted by: USAF_Hop_N_Pop
"It's stupid that this is a problem, BUT I fully agree with the law treating someone using a airsoft/pellet/BB/rubberband gun as if they pulled out a real gun. If your INTENT is to convince someone that you have a deadly weapon and coerce them to do something, you should be treated as if you presented a deadly weapon. That goes for the old candy bar in the shirt act too.
Let the kids have their fun, but if they act irresponsibly, bring the full force of the law down on THE OFFENDER, not the weapon used."
There are already laws that make those actions illegal, robbery, rape, etc. by pretending you've got a weapon to coerce the victim through force or fear.
This is at a whole new level of world class stupidity by trying to make everyday objects like a rubber band and a paperclip into a "Firearm" by their erroneous definition.
Remember, if you call a pig a dog, it's still just a pig.
Calling a pig a dog doesnt constitute a crime, nor does it put anyone in danger.
Displaying a weapon, or what you hope will be believed to be a weapon puts many people in danger. Say I walk up to somone on the street and pull out an airsoft pistol and demand their valuables.
A) I have just put myself in danger of being shot if the victim is a CCW holder
B) I have just put the victim in danger if a 3rd parts is a CCW holder, decides to get involved and misses
C) I have just put innocent 3rd parties in danger if option 1 or 2 happen and the shooter misses.
Yes robbery ect is a crime in and of itself, but displaying a weapon is an aggrivating factor that makes it a WORSE crime. If your intention is to make the victim believe you have a weapon, I think the law should make your wish come true.
I'm pretty sure if someoe ever pulls an airsoft gun on me and I shoot them that the court will see that I had reason to believe that the person had a weapon and I was in fear for my life.
ETA: no, i dont think that the mere posession of an airsoft/bb/rubberband gun should be treated like you have a real weapon, the point of contention is if you USE it like a real weapon
Ever seen those party popper pistols that you can get at the party supply store? Looks like they're illegal too since they use a small explosive charge (a cap) to propel a little wad of party streamers. What about the dart guns you see at Walmart in the toy section? They use a spring to propel a rubber dart, so they must be illegal too.
And what about all those rubber bands in your desk and the fingers you use to shoot them across the room? Yep, your hands are now defined as firearms. I guess in a way that does make sense...fire"arm".
No aiming above the shoulders? Pussies. The rule of thumb in paintball is that it's good to get hit in the head, because if you're doing it right the only things exposed to your opponent should be your gun, your hands, and your head.
Regarding the town's laws, I suppose this here would be a high capacity assault weapon?
You know what...I'm not even going to read this story.
Then the city should designate property for public use of toy guns.
So, if the Governor or mayor of one of those pathedic cities/counties/States throws a pencil... they would have committed a felony for launching a projectile.
Beam me up Scotty....Fuking NOW!!!!!!!
YOU'LL SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT!!!
Don't they know that airsoft is teh ghey?
You can't bring fire on an airplane!!!
Well, Lester Prairie is 6 miles up the road from me.
We will have to see what McLoed county has to think
when I invite these horrible young men to come to my
range and shoot real AR15's.
I guess they will have to be 18yrs old, but what the hell,
as long as it scares the cops.
ETA: Just looked up the number for Weise in the local phone book, there
is only one listing for Weise.
I will invite him and other friends 18 and over to my range.
How can crap like that get passed, seriously?
WHOA!!!...Wouldnt that make you guilty of a misdemeanor if you fired a gun in self defence (unless you are a police officer)?
Crazy psycho goes on a shooting spree at a kindergarten playground full of kids...
CCW holder shoots crazy psycho, saving the lives of children, teachers, and bystanders...
CCW holder is guilty of a misdemeanor?
Clean up in aisle three! Some factchecker threw up some stupidity again!
one at a time OR semi-automatic.....wow!
What the poorly educated author ment was to make a distinction between what most airsoft people call 'springers' (manually pull back slide, pull trigger, manually pull back slide, pull trigger) and gas or electric operated semi autos.