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Can Felons Own a Pellet Gun?

Can Felons Own a Pellet Gun

If you are a felon who wants to return to hunting, there might be many obstacles that you need to face. The top one amongst them is owning and using a firearm.

So, what’s a close alternative to it?

Switching to a weapon like a pellet gun is a great option. But, can felons own a pellet gun? Here’s the answer to this question in detail.

What Does A Pellet Gun Mean?

Pellet guns shoot pellets that are prepared from lead combined with CO2 (Pressurized air). It has connectivity to propel the projectile. Its speed is relatively slower in comparison to the conventional gun, which makes use of a propellant.

Non-Spherical Projectiles

The speed of non-spherical projectiles, when fired through the pellet gun, matches that of a muzzleloader. Pellet guns are trending right from colonial times in the United States. Many people might get confused between the air gun, pellet gun, and the BB gun! They are similar to each other but not identical.

What’s The Common Feature Between A Pellet Gun And The BB Bun?

Both these guns are pneumatic weapons, however, due to some features, they differ in ammunition. The velocity of the BB gun is lower in comparison to the pellet gun. A BB gun is not the right hunting equipment, but a pellet gun is a right option. This is because of the distinct speed of firing. For indulging in various hunting games, felons can make use of a pellet gun.

A pellet gun is not a firearm, and that’s why it is popular amongst felons. The laws regarding owning this gun are also not very stringent.

can felon own pellet gun

Here are a few differential points:

1 BB guns are ammunition made of steel

2 A pellet gun is made out of lead

3 The BB gun has a smooth barrel

4 You have to store rifling in the air guns barrel.

Pellet guns are apt for small hunting games with:

  • Doves
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels

Pellet guns are far more advantageous than rifles when it comes to hunting. Air guns are the right choice when you have a good experience with them or you are just starting up your hunting hobby!

Felons can opt for pellet guns due to other reasons like hunt silently compared to a rifle. The silence gives you a benefit while playing the hunting game. It fires out seamlessly and requires lesser muscle power and force.

Pellet gun, also known as an air gun, is impeccable in terms of precision and hunting accuracy. It might be due to its unique shape and rifled barrel due to which the projectile travels far.

Does Pellet Gun Fall Under The Category Of Firearm?

If you are a felon, you might know about the basics of firearms. Some of them include:

1 Not every gun can fall into the category of a firearm. It is crucial to figure out the difference between the two.

2 Just because it has the word gun does not make it a firearm.

3 With a firearm, the bullet is fired with the assistance of burning powder.

4 Anyone who has a convicted felony history, owning or using a firearm is strictly prohibited.

As per the Gun Control Act, a felon cannot use a firearm under any circumstances. Violation of this law can result in being entitled to a class 6 felony.

Laws To Own A Pellet Gun For Felons

Every state has its own set of regulations and rules to own and keep a pellet gun. First and foremost, a Pellet gun is not a firearm and therefore not illegal by any means. To own it as a felon; there are specific criteria that you should meet.

Here is what you need to know regarding owning Pellet Guns for felons:

can felons own pellet gun

  • Felons need to be of a minimum age of 18 or 21 years.
  • While there is no specific federal pellet gun law issued, every state follows its own set of regulations.
  • More than 50% of the states do not even have any air gun laws.
  • All regions and states follow a specific law relating to air or pellet guns. For example, holding an air rifle or the air pistol refers to carrying a non-powder gun.
  • Since a pellet gun is not a firearm, there is a different requirement to own it.
  • There is no requirement of a permit to buy such an air gun, unlike what you need for a firearm. Pellet or air guns do not fall under the category of weapons. This is why there are different laws to own it.
  • Age is a crucial factor to buy any ammunition, as discussed above. Whether you are a felon or not, this is a vital consideration for purchasing an air gun.

Hunting With A Pellet Gun

Buying an air gun does not empower you to hunt with it carelessly. Felons need to procure a hunting license and only then do they have the permission of indulging in hunting activities. This can only be done in restricted zones. Every state abides by and follows a different set of laws relating to this.

can a felon own pellet gun

As per the latest modifications in the set of rules for hunting license with an air gun, it is not imperative to get the permit for guns with a muzzle velocity of fewer than 20 joules. You must however not be very carefree while using the gun as this might put you in trouble. Scrutinize all the pellet gun laws regarding the license and get some information on the apt hunting season.

Do Felons Need To Stay Extra Cautious?

It is always better to stay vigilant when using a pellet gun as carelessness might even lead you to become a prisoner again. No felon wants to face the same nightmare again. A small mistake from your end, and you could go back to the horrifying prison time and this can be nerve-wracking.

Consult and get in touch with your attorney for clarification of all queries and doubts. They have all the updates on the latest hunting and ammunition laws and what’s prohibited. Taking advice from them can help resolve your doubts and you can enjoy your favorite hobby without a fuss!

Read more: Can Felons Own A Muzzleloader?


Felons have an excellent chance to get a break from their past mistakes. They need to be careful in not repeating the same mistakes that could get them in trouble again. A felon should learn the art of recovering from the past and develop a better future for themselves.

While felons can own the pellet guns, they need to follow all the advisory and preventive measures to not fall into any legal trouble again. They can also search the internet for more details on selecting a reputed and renowned attorney in their locality. With some awareness of the state laws and a reasonable attorney, they can lead a hassle-free life after their release.

Making a fresh start is important however this needs to be done with caution. Many restrictions come in the way of a felon. Not adhering to those restrictions may prove to be costly in the long run. While a felon may want to own a pellet gun, checking state and federal laws are important before doing so. Failure to abide by the laws may result in harsher punishment and a second term in prison. No felon wants that on their record.

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