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Thread: A firearm is a firearm is a firearm?

  1. #1
    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    A firearm is a firearm is a firearm?

    One thing I've always been kinda interested in is the possible use of an airgun (with suitably non-mousey projectiles) as my carry weapon.

    It has a few things to recommend it -- among them ease of cleaning, compactness of ammunition (at least the bullet portion) and lack of hot, burning gun powder. With the right springs, valve machining and tuning you can easily reduce a 2x4 into a cloud of splinters with a paintball gun, though I'd use something a little more accurate if I did it (minie ball bearings, anyone? heh).

    But I never actually tried it, because in Washington the carry of firearms is protected by the state constitution, but airguns were not considered firearms so lots of places had laws in place banning them. Just not worth the risk.

    But now we have a state law that has drastically broadened the definition of what a firearm is. Firearms now include everything from nailguns to flare guns to paintball guns. And the state preempts firearm laws.

    So now I'm wondering -- while I'd hate to be a test case, would you agree that a plain English reading of the law would mean that an airgun could be a carry weapon now?
    Last edited by Difdi; 07-25-2015 at 11:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Difdi View Post
    One thing I've always been kinda interested in is the possible use of an airgun (with suitably non-mousey projectiles) as my carry weapon.

    It has a few things to recommend it -- among them ease of cleaning, compactness of ammunition (at least the bullet portion) and lack of hot, burning gun powder. With the right springs, valve machining and tuning you can easily reduce a 2x4 into a cloud of splinters with a paintball gun, though I'd use something a little more accurate if I did it (minie ball bearings, anyone? heh).

    But I never actually tried it, because in Washington the carry of firearms is protected by the state constitution, but airguns were not considered firearms so lots of places had laws in place banning them. Just not worth the risk.

    But now we have a state law that has drastically broadened the definition of what a firearm is. Firearms now include everything from nailguns to flare guns to paintball guns. And the state preempts firearm laws.

    So now I'm wondering -- while I'd hate to be a test case, would you agree that a plain English reading of the law would mean that an airgun could be a carry weapon now?
    Unless you can show where such was previously restricted, then I would say such was legal prior - not my recommendation though.
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  3. #3
    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NavyLCDR View Post
    I-594 in no way changed the definition of what a firearm is/was.
    Really? So the word 'device' was not added?

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