I actually have some experience with this one. I was in Centreville shooting a pellet gun into some woods near a buddy's house. To make a long story short, someone got nervous and called the police. The Fairfax County police showed up and informed me that as far as they were concerned, a pellet gun classifies as a firearm (even though I debated the improper usage of the term "firearm" at length with the officer). The end result was the officer telling us to put it away and not shoot it anymore. He also suggested that we were getting off easy because the guy who called the police apparently could have pressed charges for....something. Then he lectured me on how "there is no safe place in Fairfax county to shoot the thing"....which I also debated.
Upon doing my own research the cop is right. Pellet guns aka air rifles are illegal to discharge in Fairfax county unless you meet t he requirements.
Section 6-1-1 defines a pellet gun as a "gun" or "pneumatic gun"
Section 6-1-2.1 defines the usage of "pnumatic guns"
Section 6-1-1. Gun means a firearm or pneumatic gun or other similar device designed and intended to expel a projectile through a barrel of any length by means of explosive, expansion or release of compressed gas or compressed air or action of a spring mechanism.
Pneumatic gun means any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure; it includes a paintball gun that expels by action of pneumatic pressure plastic balls filled with paint for the purpose of marking the point of impact.
Hope this helps.
Section 6-1-2.1. Discharge of pneumatic guns in certain places prohibited; exceptions. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6-1-2, a person may discharge a pneumatic gun on a parcel of land containing at least one acre of land in an area designated for the discharge of firearms or other guns in accordance with Appendix J to the Fairfax County Code. Provided, however, no person shall discharge any such pneumatic gun within 100 yards of a public school ground or a public park, and no person shall traverse a public school ground, or a public park while in possession of a pneumatic gun. This Section shall not prohibit any act described in Subsections (g)(3), (g)(4), (g)(5), (g)(6), (g)(7), (g)(8), or (g)(9) of Section 6-1-2, and this Section shall not prohibit: (i) the lawful possession of a gun of the type described herein when such gun is carried for purposes of personal safety; (ii) the lawful possession of a gun of the type described herein on a public highway within 100 yards of any public school ground or public park, or (iii) recreational shooting on gun ranges at any public school grounds operated by or with the approval of that school or recreational shooting on gun ranges at any public park operated by or with the approval of the owner of the park. Whenever any minor below the age of 16 uses any pneumatic gun, the minor must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or other adult supervisor approved by the minor's parent or guardian. Any minor using any pneumatic gun shall be responsible for obeying all laws, regulations and restrictions governing such use at all times. Violation of this Section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor. (21-94-6; 39-96-6, § 1; 24-04-6.)
*Edited for Spelling.