Skip to comments.New state air-gun law worries Fairfax(VA)
Posted on 06/06/2011 5:01:12 AM PDT by marktwain
The use of BB guns and other air-powered weapons will soon be legal on private property throughout Virginia, angering Northern Virginia officials whose constituents live in heavily populated areas. "For our area, it is insane," said state Sen. Dave Marsden, D-Fairfax. "It's one thing to do this in any rural area, but to allow it in a suburban or urban area like much of Northern Virginia?"
"Pneumatic weapons" - from paintball guns to pellet guns that shoot at 1,000 feet per second -- have long been treated as regular firearms under Fairfax County's code. Their use is generally prohibited in heavily populated areas and near schools and highways.
Under a new state law, however, the county must change its ordinances to allow air guns "on private property if the person shooting has permission of the owner or legal possessor of the property on which the pneumatic gun is being used." Permission is also needed from the owner of the land on which the ammunition is expected to land.
The state law does not allow counties to make special exceptions if the private property is next to a school or near a busy road.
The law was sponsored by Sen. Roscoe Reynolds, D-Martinsville, who represents a rural, southwestern portion of the state. It easily passed the General Assembly earlier this year.
Fairfax officials had opposed Reynolds' bill, but since it passed the county had no choice but to change its own code.
The county's Board of Supervisors will hold a hearing on the new law on June 21. Comments from the public will be forwarded to the state, said a county spokesman. The change will go into effect July 1.
"I don't think this will be well received," said Supervisor John Foust, D-Dranesville. "Our houses are much closer together, and our communities are much more dense than in much of the state. Neighbors would be justifiably concerned if someone is shooting weapons next door to them."
I live in The People’s Republic of Fairfax, and this comes as no surprise. I had a Ffx cop friend once tell me that AirSoft weapons and even Nerf guns were probably covered by the ban as well and the County was just one incident (like a kid losing an eye) from having the ban enforced against them as well.
Good for them! From the way these guys are acting I bet they would want to regulate NERF guns too if they could.
“Pneumatic weapons” - from paintball guns to pellet guns that shoot at 1,000 feet per second — have long been treated as regular firearms under Fairfax County’s code.
A firearm is a weapon that launches one, or many, projectile(s) at high velocity through confined burning of a propellant. This subsonic burning process is technically
NOTE “burning process”
Air guns are NOT Firearms. Are they dangerous? Sure. So is a fork. Grow up............
Couldn’t agree more with your comment. They really are ignorant aren’t they?
For how many seconds? The bb guns I had would do damage at no more 100ft=0.1 sec.
I remember living in Fairfax County as a teenager. BB guns were considered firearms. I could bring my .22 rifle to schools for varsity rifle team matches, but shooting empty soda cans and beer bottles in my backyard with a BB gun was illegal.
Perhaps teaching responsibility rather than abolition has it’s purpose. But, then again, we still have teachers unions. Could there be a double upside to this story?
The actual muzzle velocity of most adult grade spring air rifles is between 1,000 fps and 1,200 fps for .177 cal. pellets, right up there with some .22 LR ammo. Go to
and see for yourself.
Pull up your bunched-up, urine-soaked panties, Dave, and live with it.
Every American boy and girl should have a BB gun for their 12th birthday.
I reload A LOT of ammunition, so I own a chronograph.
I was curious about the Daisy Red Rider BB guns that I bought my girls for Christmas, so I set up the chrony for some testing.
About 274 fps with the most recent version of the Red Rider. Not bad and a hell of a lot of fun for the kids.
A pea-shooter is a rapid-fire automatic pneumatic weapon coz you can load and fire a dozen beans at a time.
Are they slightly dangerous? Yep, but the pellets are easily contained within a average sized yard, will not shoot through metal, thick wood or other materials.
To outlaw air guns is the height of stupidity.
However, air guns of large caliber, which are outlawed pretty much across the US, could be as dangerous as a real firearm, .50 or above would be deadly, and in fact at one time air guns of such size were used. Lewis and Clark, for instance, carried a number of air guns of large caliber with them on their famous expedition. Not only were they large caliber they were repeaters, something real firearms of the time were not.
The neighbor behind me was shooting at a squirrel in his backyard with his BB gun...and killed a window in my sunroom. He replaced the window (we’re good neighbors).
It’s funny because I have the same kind of BB gun he has...
Fairfax has become Berkeley East.
My RWS (Dana) model 40 does 1170 fps. I love this gun.
Understand the agenda.
This is aimed primarily at airsoft.
Airsoft guns are great replicas of “the real thing” and are being used to cheaply train the “commoners” to be proficient in the use of weapons in self defense and tactical situations.
The statists are late to the game on this, but attempting to catch up.
Lewis and Clark only had one air rifle. it is a fascinating story (well it is to me, to each his own)
This is a very comprehensive article on the rifle. I don’t remember if it was .41 or .45 calaber, but I have full confidence that someone here will JUMP to the opportunity to fill me in. It is a 22 round repeater, and also fascinating because being an air rifle is not regulated in so many jurisdictions of this great country.
The air reservoir was pumped up to 800 PSI so, ouch, this thing will put your eye out.
I have an RWS model 34. They’re great.
True, but only half the story. A typical airgun pellet is only about half the weight of a .22 bullet, and has a much lower ballistic coefficient. It loses velocity much more rapidly than does a .22.
Having said that, it's still dangerous within its range. An airgun shooting a hunting (pointed-nose) pellet will kill small varmints such as squirrels. I use one to protect my garden against rabbits.
I have always believed, absolutely, that rule-making bureaucrats are often literally stupid, and confound personal ignorance with professional responsiblities. Elected officials are no less ignorant when they approve nonsense. The definition of "firearms" is simple enough for even functional morons to understand it. The difference between them, and the practical limitations are too numerous and subtle to get into here, but suffice to say that more people have been killed by baseballs than by air pistols, or air rifles within the financial reach of thugs or yoots.
Registration of air guns is next.
My guess on the next restriction would be to put a minimum age requirement on the replicas.
This is what the left is trying to destroy - the “gun culture” that starts at a young age.
They’re denying nature in attempting this, though, because boys will shoot each other with carrots.
I would go with a 22 and firearms training on their 12th birthday.
Yeah, but your average .177 pellet weighs about 8 grains, compared to 36-40 grains for your average .22LR projectile.
Yes, Lewis and Clark attributed the rifle to saving them from Indian fights more than once when they demonstrated its fire power. The English used air rifles, similar to the one Lewis and Clark had, against Napoleon, they had snipers using them. You can buy air rifles today of .50 caliber and that pump up to those large PSI numbers but I am not sure of the laws governing them. The feds, of course, think they are too silent and should not be used. They have obviously never heard one of the new pellet rifles which are almost as loud as a .22. I am sure a .45 or .50 caliber would make quite a racket.
No doubt; that’s why it’s great for taking squirrels on you own property, even in a city. A regular .22 just has too much wallop and lethal range.
Well, I was going to say 6 but this is a Brave New America.
I think I got my first .22 at ten
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