Black powder guns are firearms that enroll preliminary firearm technology. That kind of technology generally includes hand-loaded bullets. These black powder guns are very easy to operate. These are also easy for common people to manufacture compared to any regular gun. Lead balls and gun powder are also easy to make and are analogous to bullets.
People call a black powder gun a muzzleloader. Technically, a muzzleloader is a firearm that runs by pushing the projectile. In this method, usually, the powder charge is done through the muzzle. The black powder however is used instead of smokeless powder in a muzzleloader. That’s why a muzzleloader is considered a black powder gun.
Owning a black powder gun, however, is not against the rule. This is legal as a black powder gun is not a firearm. It can be purchased and owned by anyone without any legal permission or license.
Can A Felon Own A Black Powder Gun?
A felon, convicted of violent felonies, losses their rights to purchase, transfer, own, or use a firearm. These felonies are- murder, kidnapping, rape, robbery, armed burglary, arson, and aggravated assault. or any kind of dangerous weapon under the felon’s custody as per Federal and State laws.
If owning a traditional firearm is not possible, a felon may own a black powder gun as an alternative. Most firearms are loaded from the breech or the rear. But the loading technique of a muzzleloader is different. That’s why the authorities do not place too many restrictions on it.
In most countries, however, possession of a black powder gun is legal for a felon. On the other hand, certain states consider it illegal. The rules and regulations of having a black powder gun vary with countries.
Laws To Possess A Black Powder Gun
1 In the United States
In the United States, it is legal for a convicted felon to own a black powder gun during his custody or control. Under Federal and State laws, a black powder gun is also termed an ‘antique firearm’.
Antique firearms are discharged under the United States Gun Control Act of 1968.
In this act, antique firearms are designated as:
- Antique firearms are any kind of firearm having a frame or receiver. They are antique if the manufacturing date is on or before 1898.
- Antique firearms are firearms with a matchlock. Besides that, such a gun may have a flintlock, percussion cap, or equivalent of a flaming system.
- Any type of replica of an antique firearm should not be depicted for using a rimfire. The same is also applicable for standard centerfire ammunition. The rule also applies for guns that use allotted ammunition that is not manufactured anymore in the United States. and is not freely available in the commercial market. An antique firearm is any muzzleloading rifle, muzzle-loading shotgun, or muzzle-loading pistol. The manufacturers designed such guns especially to use black powder or a substitute for black powder. These should not use allotted ammunition.
As far as black powder guns qualify the above characteristics, a felon can own and use them. It will be completely legal to possess them.
2 In Utah
- It is legal to own and uses a black powder gun for a convicted felon in Utah.
- Utah follows the Federal law and permits a felon to possess a black powder gun.
- Apart from this, authorities also permit archery equipment including crossbows.
- This is legal until felons use it for hunting and target shooting.
- This is valid, considering the felon is not confined by a court as a restriction of pretrial release.
- Or, the felon is not under a probation of the Board of Pardons and Parole as a stipulation of the parole.
- A black powder gun may also be turned into a dangerous weapon depending on its use.
- If a felon uses a black powder gun as a dangerous weapon, it could be considered a serious crime.
3 As Per Federal Law
- As per Federal laws, black powder gun falls into the category of antique firearms. So the GCA (Gun Control Act) does not prohibit possessing them.
- A black powder gun, however, may turn into a firearm by the replacement of the barrel, bolt, breechblock, or any of. It can also become fire-fixed ammunition.
- ATF has classified these muzzle-loading guns as firearms. That’s because these guns assimilate the frame or receiver.
- That receiver is capable of receiving the barrels designed to fire standard rimfire or centerfire fixed ammunition.
- Felons are however not allowed to possess such muzzle-loading guns.
The Federal explosive laws do not make it illegal for a felon to acquire and possess a black powder gun. The gun should not exceed the weight limit of fifty pounds. Besides, felons should use it only for sporting, recreational or cultural purposes.
Having a muzzleloader, however, does not give felon permission to hunt with it. It requires a hunting license to be eligible to hunt legally. If a felon wants to get the license and hunt legally, he has to remove his crime records from the court.
It requires precautions and a felon has to know the laws to hunt with a muzzle-loading gun. If any kind of mistake happens, a muzzleloader may turn into a deadly weapon. The authorities might arrest him again and send him go back to prison for such a mistake.
4 In California
In California, it is illegal to purchase, possess or use a black powder gun for a felon. The black powder guns qualify as antique firearms under California law. Instead of them, a convicted felon can possess daggers, dirks, or stilettos in his property. He, however, cannot carry them in cars or public.
5 In Florida
In Florida, it is illegal for convicted felons to possess a firearm. The list of firearms includes a muzzleloader or black powder gun. A felon can, however, own them if he has restored his firearm right. He can possess a gun which is certified as an antique firearm as per the laws of Florida. He can hunt with bows, crossbows, and air guns if he has a license for using them.
6 In Alaska
A felon can’t possess a black powder gun legally in Alaska. Anyway, he can apply for a pardon from the government of Alaska or the president of the United States. When the authorities approve his application, he can own a black powder gun.
7 In Michigan
In Michigan, it is illegal for a felon to own or use a firearm without an approved pardon from the government. The federal government however does not consider black powder guns as firearms. So, if there is no prohibition from the state, it is legal for a felon to possess a black powder gun.
8 In Illinois
In Illinois, if a felon wants to buy or own a black powder gun, he must obtain Firearm Owners Identification or FOID. A felon cannot purchase any firearm without this FOID. If a felon however possesses a firearm without FOID, even in his own house, the authorities consider it a crime.
In this article, we spoke about black powder guns or muzzleloaders as antique firearms. We also discussed the laws to possess a black powder gun in various countries. This might be useful to understand the rules and regulations to possess a black powder gun for a felon.