Thread: Air rifle + home range?
1/15/2012 5:08pm, #11
Hmmm, wow, that sucks...
It really doesn't matter if the sound reducing device is built in or attached, nor does it matter whether it is called a silencer, moderator, muffler, sound dampener, or whatever - or even if it was built so that a single discharge on a firearm will destroy it.. An airgun with a silencer almost surely is another arrest or lawsuit waiting to happen! At best, the owner of an airgun silencer may come out of court with only a few thousand dollars in legal costs and a felony record for a suspended sentence! The fact that many have been sold on the open market will not excuse the violation nor reduce the fact that the silencer user has given airgunning a bad name and a further push toward onerous restrictions!
n fact, U.S. Code specifically prohibits any federal, state or local municipality from declaring an airgun to be a firearm. Not only do the federal firearms laws NOT apply to airguns, they CANNOT be applied by law! But that doesn't get us out of the woods.
IF you have an airgun silencer, and IF it can be removed and installed on a firearm, and IF it then quiets that firearm - that silencer meets the legal definition and is subject to the law. However, in the United States, a person is considered innocent until proven guilty, so it is also necessary to prove intent, as in you intended to use the silencer in your possession on a firearm. Therein lies the problem.
Sounds like a lot of gray area.
Last edited by ChenPengFi; 1/15/2012 5:17pm at .
1/16/2012 10:21am, #12
So with this in mind:
The BATF has ducked the airgun silencer issue by continuing to say that they have no jurisdiction over airguns - BUT they leave the matter open by pointing out that an airgun silencer that could be used on a firearm, even if it was necessary to destroy an integrated airgun to get it, is, by federal definition, A FIREARM
i think i will be re-evaluating this whole suppressor thing.
I can see the logic somewhat, with access to a machine shop that suppressor could theoretically be mounted on a .22-250 or the like.
Not sure how quiet it would be or how long it would last but apparently that doesn't matter.
1/16/2012 9:45pm, #13
It appears that the issue is with suppressors that can be removed and placed on a firearm. What about an airgun with an integral suppressor. One that cannot be removed? iirc some of the european air rifles are made that way.
1/16/2012 10:41pm, #14
As i understand it, suppressors are "firearms" in the eye of the law, and
an airgun silencer that could be used on a firearm, even if it was necessary to destroy an integrated airgun to get it, is, by federal definition, A FIREARM
I'm gonna call HPD tomorrow and ask, but i'll probably get a different model anyhow seeing as it's also a fed issue.
The Beeman and Pyramyd articles cover both sides of the argument pretty well.
1/19/2012 12:05am, #15
1/19/2012 3:52am, #16
So now i find this.
A case was overturned!
The conviction of defendant Crooker for transporting a firearm in interstate commerce was overturned because the device was specifically an “air-gun” silencer and therefore not covered under the federal statutory definition of a firearm. Under the federal definition of firearm, a silencer or “muffler” is considered a firearm. In the case decided by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, however, the device used to muffle the sound of a gun was in fact built as an “air-gun silencer” and therefore not covered under the statute. Even though the device could easily be adapted to muffle an actual firearm.
Where a defendant was indicted, tried and convicted for transporting a firearm in interstate commerce as a convicted felon, the conviction must be reversed because the subject item – a device designed to muffle the sound of an airgun – was not a firearm.
They even reversed it in spite of his status as a convicted felon.