Air Gun Ruling

A New York trial court rules that there’s not Second Amendment protection for air guns because they are not “arms,” within the meaning of the Second Amendment. It seems to me, however, that the right to keep and bear arms necessarily has to include some right to practice with and become proficient in the use of arms. Since air guns are of high utility for practicing and honing skills with arms, their possession and use ought to be protected as readily as powder firearms. Dave Kopel has, I think, successfully argued this point previously.

11 thoughts on “Air Gun Ruling”

  1. If this court truly believes that air guns are not armaments, I’m sure they won’t mind my shooting them with one. After all, they say they are not arms. Considering that there is at least one air rifle that shoots 357 projectiles at over 1000fps, I very much beg to differ with their ruling.

  2. I had a bunch of gray squirrels in the yard that would disagree with this ruling…if they could come back from the beyond. (Made some good pot pies with those babies!)

    Oh, and in Britain, I hear the Olympic shooting team would like to have this court transfered over there so they could get their practice time in with their “not arms.”

  3. So governments can ban them as arms because they aren’t arms and therefore aren’t protected as arms? Gotcha.

  4. I wonder if they are going to rule that a kitchen knife is not a weapon, since the manufacure’s website says it is designed for chopin and cutting food and does not mention that it can be used for self-defense.

    Looks like they must not have read this on Gamo’s website:

  5. No Second Amendment protection for air guns? In New York there’s not even Second Amendment protection for real guns, or toy guns, or ammunition, or knives, or slingshots, or agricultural flails – the list goes on.
    The only arms you can have in New York City are the two you were born with. Anything else, and you’d better have a license, or else.

  6. Using the “logic” the judge applied to understanding the scope of protection provided by the 2nd Amendment, in theory all weapons could be banned except for handguns of .38 Special or larger caliber. Because according to his theory ONLY handguns intended for self-defense are protected! So no rimfires, no airguns, no knives or swords or tonfas, and for that matter no rifles or shotguns either.

    What an ignorant boob.

  7. I thought at first that it was an airsoft – but a closer reading suggests that this is a straight-up BB gun, one which my purchase and possession of is regulated as though it was a firearms.

    Stuff that.

  8. The ruling also subtly conflates arms and firearms if you read it closely.

    Of course, plenty of legislatures are happy to classify air guns as firearms if it suits their purposes.

  9. Unsuprised. If arms>firearms, the knife bans fall – because they’re banned as dangerous weapons. If they’re not weapons, why ban them, and if they are, they’re arms…

  10. I happen to know that a number of localities in the state of California list air or C02 powered arms as “firearms”.

    The citation for firing a pump bb gun on county land in Alameda County is the same as for a firearm. Ask me how I know…

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