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Thread: BB guns in Fairfax County Virginia

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    My son has asked for a BB/airsoft pistol for Christmas. I would like to get some feedback from members regarding their opinions or experiences with this in Fairfax County. Please help! My son is 12-yrs old and most of his friends own a BB or airsoft pistol/rifle. He simply wants one to shot targets, seems harmless enough to me, but would like to hear from others that may have some experience with how the police handle this.

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    I think if you go the airsoft route you aren't going to run into too many issues. Not that it won't hurt getting hit with one of the pellets. Depending on how close to another person you could do damage to an eye. My boy asked the same thing. He has a paintball gun and I told him he could use that if he wanted to. I'm not so hot on him running around a neighborhood playing "tag" with airsoft guns. I don't know that the neighbors are goinng to be so friendly about that. Sad though. I grew up shooting my friends with real single pump bb guns. Not bright but at that age you don't really think about it. I would ask him what/how he intends to use it - under your supervision only, in the back yard, with an appropriate back stop? Or does he have other ideas?

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    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “
    Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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.”

    Fairfax County Code Section 6-1-2.1
    Discharge of BB-guns, air pistols, air rifles and pellet guns in certain places prohibited.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 6-1-2, a person may discharge a traditional BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun, which propels a projectile by means of energy released by compressed air, compressed gas, mechanical spring or a combination thereof, on a parcel of land containing at least one (1) 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 BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun within one hundred (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 BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun. Violation of this Section shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    Fairfax County Code Section 6-1-6.
    Carrying and discharging of guns by minors.

    (a) It shall be unlawful for any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years to carry any gun or starting pistol on the public highways or public lands of the County, unless accompanied by an adult where the relationship of adult and minor is that of parent and child, guardian and ward or instructor and pupil.
    (b) This Section shall not apply to a gun carried unloaded in a completely closed carrying case or when completely and securely wrapped and not concealed on the person.
    (c) It shall also be unlawful for any minor under the age of eighteen (18) years to discharge a gun anywhere in the County unless in the presence and under the supervision of an adult bearing the relationship defined above in this Section.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/P...Newsletter.pdf
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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    USMC wrote:
    My son has asked for a BB/airsoft pistol for Christmas. I would like to get some feedback from members regarding their opinions or experiences with this in Fairfax County. Please help! My son is 12-yrs old and most of his friends own a BB or airsoft pistol/rifle. He simply wants one to shot targets, seems harmless enough to me, but would like to hear from others that may have some experience with how the police handle this.
    Don't know about Fairfax, but he needs some supervision. I'm sure you already know that.
    I bought this for my two year old grandson this Christmas.



    I'll take him shooting in a couple of years.

    I bought his father a Chipmunk 22, when he was 6.

    Code:
    I think if you go the airsoft route you aren't going to run into too many issues.
    Bohdi....IMO, airsoft has a tendancy to teach kids bad habits..like shooting each other. Just my opinion

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    I used to always shoot my BB gun in my backyard in Fairfax County (at cardboard targets and cats). No one ever seemed to notice.

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    Don't take this the wrong way but I think it is crazy that you have to get advice on this. Even as little as ten years ago this would not even matter. All this craziness about what kids are doing is one of the reasons I'm afraid to have children, kids are simply not allowed to make mistakes, take risks or have any sort of fun anymore.....its truly sad and I think it is going to have a major negative impact on the world when the kids of today are grown up.

    IMO I would just buy him the BB gun, tell him to be careful and don't be a moron - and if he screws up, take the gun away.

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    peter nap wrote:
    Bohdi....IMO, airsoft has a tendancy to teach kids bad habits..like shooting each other. Just my opinion
    What about paintball? Call of Duty? Grand Theft Auto? Kids playing with cap guns? C'mon now...

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    hunter45 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    Bohdi....IMO, airsoft has a tendancy to teach kids bad habits..like shooting each other. Just my opinion
    What about paintball? Call of Duty? Grand Theft Auto? Kids playing with cap guns? C'mon now...
    There's a difference between playing pow pow pow with a cap gun and having a gun that looks, feels and cycles like the real thing. I have a 1911 that is identical to my carry gun. Same weight, same feel, the action cycles, magazines are the same size and weight..(Cot about as much too)
    I use it in the shop to do house clearing drills and I take it hunting in case a dog shows up.

    Just think of the shame if I got in the habit of shooting dog hunters with my air soft and accidentally drew from my right side instead of my left..

    But Judge...I was sure it was the airsoft

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    My teen son wanted both paint ball and air soft....

    Paint ball was too expensive for my blood (seems I put out 100 bucks for rental and paint every time we went).... and I didn't want my teen running around the hood with an air soft gun.

    I got him a 12 gauge so we could shoot some trap & skeet at the range together. It's worked out well.

    RichV

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    Peter, that was the sort of thing I had in mind when I said no. With Paintball, you SHOULD NOT INTENTIONALLY aim for the head. Head shots happen. Of course, there are a few immature players of all ages who just don't give a rats ass. Surprisingly, the adults are some of the worst offenders.

    With the lad I have instilled gun safety even with paintball. He's been tagged a couple of times at close range and knows that without a helmet he could be seriously hurt. I don't allow him to use the gun unless he's out on a course or I am around. My fear is that unsupervised he'd give in to peer pressure and then the worst could happen. Not necissarily fair to him because he is a good kid. But then everyone is a good kid up until someone gets shot in the eye accidentally. "I didn't mean to hit him in the face Judge". I don't want to be liable for defending that. Having shot bbs and airsoft myself, I have seen the rounds spin wildly at times in unintended directions. When they don't, they friggin hurt.

    We chased each other around berthing on the Frigate I was on shooting each other in Japan. Someone popped off a round and caught a E-6 with a richochet. That ended that real quick. At least on ship. Then we went out on the "haunch" for a while. Until we realized the Japanese police weren't real keen with US Sailors whipping out "guns" in the streets and shooting indiscriminately at each other. Luckily we stopped before it got anyone killed or injured or tarnished the US image.

    I've done some pretty stupid things in my younger years. I know I won't completely eliminate the young lad from doing similar stupid things, but I can hope that I discourage the majority of it.

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    Growing up I played paintball in the woods behind some neighbors house in Fairfax County. We played for years without any problems. I think we started playing around 96 or 97.

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    vt800c wrote:


    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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.”


    and no person shall traverse a public school ground, or a public park while in possession of a BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun. Violation of this Section shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/P...Newsletter.pdf
    hmmm

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    nova wrote:
    vt800c wrote:



    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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.”



    and no person shall traverse a public school ground, or a public park while in possession of a BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun. Violation of this Section shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/P...Newsletter.pdf
    hmmm
    Good catch!We need to makethe county change it.

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    nova wrote:
    vt800c wrote:



    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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.”



    and no person shall traverse a public school ground, or a public park while in possession of a BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun. Violation of this Section shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/P...Newsletter.pdf
    hmmm
    Good catch!We need to makethe county change it.
    Are you thinking that 15.2-915 (Preemption) covers this? Are you sure 915 covers air guns?

    The text of 915 does not mention air guns, so unless there is other code that includes air guns with the general definition of firearms, I don't know how you could make them change these rules.

    915 specifically covers "firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof".

    Now that section 6-1-6 does regulate regular firearms, but the kicker there would be to see if the Fairfax regulation is at odds with any state laws.

    IANAL, of course.

    TFred

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    Apparently you have to be specific when talking about "air soft". Some of these devices are spring only, others are gas and electrically controlled/activated. Seems like some grey area in that regulation.

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    vt800c wrote:



    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “
    Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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."
    This also includes straws and spitball. I was almost charge with an felony in the tenth some years backsfor shooting a projectile. With a straw......

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    TFred wrote:
    Tomahawk wrote:
    nova wrote:
    vt800c wrote:



    Fairfax County has laws that govern this type of gun and others. Fairfax County Code states that “Gun means a rifle, shotgun, pistol, air pistol, BB-gun, pellet 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.”



    and no person shall traverse a public school ground, or a public park while in possession of a BB-gun, air pistol, air rifle or pellet gun. Violation of this Section shall be punishable as a Class 4 misdemeanor.

    http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/sully/P...Newsletter.pdf
    hmmm
    Good catch!*We need to make*the county change it.
    Are you thinking that 15.2-915 (Preemption) covers this?* Are you sure 915 covers air guns?

    The text of 915 does not mention air guns, so unless there is other code that includes air guns with the general definition of firearms, I don't know how you could make them change these rules.

    915 specifically covers "firearms, ammunition, or components or combination thereof".

    Now that section 6-1-6 does regulate regular firearms, but the kicker there would be to see if the Fairfax regulation is at odds with any state laws.

    IANAL, of course.

    TFred
    This regulation predates preemption and maybe grandfathered as a result.

    Regards
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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    TFred wrote:This regulation predates preemption and maybe grandfathered as a result.

    Regards
    I thought grandfathered regs went away in 2004 when preemption was expanded?

    *post edited to clean up the mess of quotes that appeared

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    They did.

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    hunter45 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    Bohdi....IMO, airsoft has a tendancy to teach kids bad habits..like shooting each other. Just my opinion
    What about paintball? Call of Duty? Grand Theft Auto? Kids playing with cap guns? C'mon now...
    Oh, Call of Duty is plenty fun :shock:

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    crazydude6030 wrote:
    hunter45 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    Bohdi....IMO, airsoft has a tendancy to teach kids bad habits..like shooting each other. Just my opinion
    What about paintball? Call of Duty? Grand Theft Auto? Kids playing with cap guns? C'mon now...
    Oh, Call of Duty is plenty fun :shock:
    I've been monitoring/encouraging some first person shooter games with the young one who wants airsoft. We play together at the same time and he plays alone as well. Typically with people I know but sometimes with people who end up on servers.

    I think the one bad habit that FPS teach kids is laziness. The games are pretty time consuming and intense, and to a certain degree addicting. I am at the point where monitoring his playtime is going to become painful for both of us. His grades are slipping and we had a conversation about him making the best use of his time. The excuse I received was that he was getting his homework done. My response was - getting it done and understanding what is being taught are two different things. Anyone can write down an answer, getting the right answer is what it's all about.

    His mid terms show up soon and he wanted a new game. I told him no new game if he had bad grades at mid term and if he does have bad grades, not only does he not get the game he wants until the end of the quarter, his playing time is going to be drastically reduced until then as well. Right now he's not in a sport so he's using his downtime to play Left4Dead2. Call of Duty is fun, and I don't know if I buy into the whole desensitization to human life theory through playing FPS type games. I suppose it's possible, I've read about people neglecting their kids because they've been sucked into MMRPGs. Of course those types were also loaded on some type of drug too.

    I just haven't seen any correlation between poor judgement with his paintball gun or the ones we use at the range to video games. I guess I may be doing a better job than some?

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    bohdi wrote:
    I've been monitoring/encouraging some first person shooter games with the young one who wants airsoft. We play together at the same time and he plays alone as well. Typically with people I know but sometimes with people who end up on servers.

    I think the one bad habit that FPS teach kids is laziness. The games are pretty time consuming and intense, and to a certain degree addicting. I am at the point where monitoring his playtime is going to become painful for both of us. His grades are slipping and we had a conversation about him making the best use of his time. The excuse I received was that he was getting his homework done. My response was - getting it done and understanding what is being taught are two different things. Anyone can write down an answer, getting the right answer is what it's all about.

    His mid terms show up soon and he wanted a new game. I told him no new game if he had bad grades at mid term and if he does have bad grades, not only does he not get the game he wants until the end of the quarter, his playing time is going to be drastically reduced until then as well. Right now he's not in a sport so he's using his downtime to play Left4Dead2. Call of Duty is fun, and I don't know if I buy into the whole desensitization to human life theory through playing FPS type games. I suppose it's possible, I've read about people neglecting their kids because they've been sucked into MMRPGs. Of course those types were also loaded on some type of drug too.

    I just haven't seen any correlation between poor judgement with his paintball gun or the ones we use at the range to video games. I guess I may be doing a better job than some?
    Sadly I can speak first hand on this topic. I have done some stupid things just to play a game. it took me nearly 15 years to realize that it was just a game....

    If I had a kid that was like that I would be tempted to lock the games up during the school year or at the very least during the school week. I played with a group of guys who did that to their kids just to keep them from slacking off during the week. If your kid is always talking about the game then its time to take some action. If you can leave it out and he isn't really wanting to touch it until there is nothing else to do then you don't have a problem.

    I think that COD (and other first person shooters), can promote poor judgment if the parent involved prefers to bury their head in the sand.

    Edit: as a side note the wife and I have decided to not buy any video games for our children as a result of my experience.

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    Yeah, for us we are concerned about his lack of physical activity and drive/motivation. I've been experimenting with a few different ways of motivating him when he's become uninterested. I am trying to get him to take some initiative but I am not seeing it. I would rather not resort to forcing certain things on him, and it's looking like we might have to. Of course I am making clear these changes are a result of his poor decision making and not effective time management verse his mother and I not wanting him to have fun, lol. Kids are great.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    bohdi wrote:
    Yeah, for us we are concerned about his lack of physical activity and drive/motivation. I've been experimenting with a few different ways of motivating him when he's become uninterested. I am trying to get him to take some initiative but I am not seeing it. I would rather not resort to forcing certain things on him, and it's looking like we might have to. Of course I am making clear these changes are a result of his poor decision making and not effective time management verse his mother and I not wanting him to have fun, lol. Kids are great.
    Boy am I glad those days are gone

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    peter nap wrote:
    ...SNIP
    I bought this for my two year old grandson this Christmas.



    I'll take him shooting in a couple of years.

    SNIP ...
    Oh my God!! He'll shoot his eye out!
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
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