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Can a Felon Own a Crossbow?

Can a Felon Own a Crossbow

After spending years inside four isolating walls of your prison cell, you will finally be able to walk outside again. You are greeted with a fresh air of freedom and the warm breeze of summer that is beaming with hope and new beginnings for you.

You wasted days thinking about what you wanted to do after serving your sentence—a long list of the things you are craving to do.

After taking a big gulp out of your favorite beer in a nice restaurant, you suddenly remembered that one specific thing you always wanted to do ever since you were little; hunting.

The Pleasure Of Hunting

Hunting sure is a good hobby for some people. It could relieve stress while getting your cardiovascular going. It could however be an expensive hobby. You need the right equipment to have a good hunting extravaganza. There are safety gears you need to buy and, of course, an arsenal you can efficiently use for hunting.

You may want to try different hunting equipment like:

  • Shotguns
  • Rifles
  • Revolvers
  • Handgun
  • Muzzleloaders

There are generally used for these kinds of activities. You have however come to realize that being a felon restricts you to buy and possess firearms and arsenals. That’s when one big question popped out of your mind; if you cannot own any firearms, could you at least own a crossbow?

Crossbow Restrictions

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain people. This was due to the continuous threat of assassinations that led to the death of the late President John F. Kennedy, and social activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

This prohibition was only applicable to felons who committed violent crimes. Felons who are charged with non-violent crimes could have their rights for firearm ownership restored once they have finished serving their sentence in prison

can felon own a crossbow

Not all of them however could freely buy firearms and ammunition for their personal use. The law was still constructed to ensure that felons who would acquire guns would have limited and easily traceable firearms regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

This is the same government agency that grants restoration of firearm ownership rights for people who do not pose a threat to public safety.

Federal Law

While the federal law about firearm ownership has been clear for a lot of people, there is uncertainty when it comes to felons owning crossbows. Several questions come up in a felon’s mind.

1 Is it illegal for them to own one?

2How does the federal law prohibit them to acquire firearms and ammunition?

The answer is no, it is not illegal. Even though crossbows could impose almost the same level of threat as a handgun—or even a more powerful firearm—, it does not fall into the same bracket as firearms and ammunition. Thus, felons could safely acquire crossbows without breaking the general federal laws. Hunting is possible even for felons, and that’s a fact.

can felons own crossbow

Different states however could also have different laws regarding crossbow ownership. Some have strict laws while some have moderately considerate ones. It was obvious that laws can be more restricting to felons since they have a criminal background to consider. The authorities look at it on a case-to-case basis. This also depends on which states you belong to. Some may be more tolerable than others.

United Kingdom Crossbow Laws

In the United Kingdom, there are no existing laws regarding the control and prohibition of using and acquiring crossbows. There are however existing laws regarding the mishandling of crossbows and using them as means of threat and violence against people.

The issue of creating a law prohibiting and regulating the possession of crossbows has created huge turmoil in the UK. This is because are multiple crossbow shootings that occurred over the past years. There still however no existing laws regarding the issue of crossbow possession up until now.

United States Crossbow Laws

In the United States, some states are strict with their protocols regarding the possession and use of crossbows. Take Oregon, for example. It was the only state to ban hunting using a crossbow.

They were specific about their prohibition. Felons that came from New York were also banned from possessing any weapon at all—not even a crossbow.

can felon own crossbow

If you want to get on a hunting spree in a different state, always make sure you have read their:

  • Hunting guidelines
  • Laws
  • Restrictions

This will help you fully enjoy your hunting experience. You should take into consideration all the protocols and safety precautions regarding their equipment to ensure a safe and legal hunting trip.

Some states might prohibit the use of certain weapons for hunting and could only allow specific models of firearms or other equipment.

Age Restriction

Although it was an obvious fact, people aged 18 years and below were not permitted to use crossbows. They can however use it after the age of 16 with an adult present and freely post the age of 18.

If you have minor relatives you want to bring with you during your hunting trip, make sure you are responsible enough to let them use crossbows or other weapons. If not done correctly, you can get penalized by the existing laws.


Even with all these strict protocols with regards to felons’ crossbow ownership rights in place, owning one does feel awesome. Even if it is just for decorative purposes or as a collectible, make sure you acquire one legally.

Crossbows could also be used for activities and hobbies other than hunting such as target shooting. Different kinds of crossbows were created specifically for certain activities, and it is best to know more about them before purchasing one. Always be cautious with the details of your purchases. Check if you are permitted or not to purchase one.

Now that you are ready and determined to buy a crossbow of your own, make note of the following points.

1 Bear responsibility for the people around you

2 Give utmost respect to the places you’re going to conquer

3 Check out for best hunting sites

4 Live your new life without breaking the law

5/5 - (42 votes)

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About Eugene Casey

Eugene works in a busy employment agency in Chicago and has nearly 20 years of experience in finding clients the perfect job. His philosophy is simple, the right match for the right position is nearly always a win-win for both the employee and the company.

When he isn't working or writing for us, he enjoys cooking and exploring the United States, one state at a time.

He lives with his wife Lisa and their two German Shepherds, Wilber and Gus.

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