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Does Air Rifle = Deadly Weapon in CA?


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#1 johnnypuffs

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:16 PM

Hi All,New here. First time poster.Trying to figure out if I can legally hunt, with an air rifle, on my property.. Kind of confusing.I have my hunting license and do hunt with "firearms" but also have a couple air rifles I love to shoot. I live on a 1/2 acre lot in an unincorporated part of our county.1. The area is a "no-shoot" zone. But that pertains to firearms only.2. I AM allowed to shoot air rifles on my property. I have checked with the sheriff and it is legal.The only possible glitch in the plan I see is section 3004 of the fish and game code:

3004. (a) It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises, to hunt or to discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith. The 150-yard area is a "safety zone."

I do have neighbors within the 150 yard "safety zone", so the only real thing holding me back would be if an air rifle is somehow considered a "deadly weapon".I actually spoke to a warden today about this, but it was in regards to pests (ground squirrels, opossum, raccoons, etc.).Under F&G code 4152:

nongame mammals and black-tailed jackrabbits, muskrats, subspecies of red fox that are not the native Sierra Nevada red fox (Vulpes vulpes necator), and red fox squirrels that are found to be injuring growing crops or other property may be taken at any time or in any manner....... by the owner.....

and 4180 A:

Except as provided for in Section 4005, fur-bearing mammals that are injuring property may be taken at any time and in any manner in accordance with this code or regulations made pursuant to this code.

For pest control on private property you do not even need a hunting license. So his opinion was that it was totally fine and I am not even acting under my hunting license for THOSE cases.He was actually not so sure if an air rifle is considered a "deadly weapon" or not.There is not much in the fish and game code about air rifles, called "bb devices". The main one I see is Section 3001 which states:

3001. It is unlawful to take birds or mammals with firearms, BB devices as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001 of the Penal Code, crossbows, or with bow and arrow when intoxicated.3001. It is unlawful to take birds or mammals with firearms, BB devices as defined in Section 16250 of the Penal Code, crossbows, or with bow and arrow when intoxicated.

So they are referring to CA penal code for defining BB device:PC 12001:

As used in this title, "firearm" has the meaning provided in subdivision (a) of Section 16520.

PC 16520 A

16520. (a) As used in this part, "firearm" means any device, designed to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion.

PC 16250:

16250. As used in this part, "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun.

So essentially all I can see is a "BB device" is not a firearm as far as California Penal Code. Nowhere does it mention it being a deadly weapon. F&G code nowhere states that a "BB Device" is a deadly weapon.I am allowed by the county law to shoot the air rifle at my location. It's OK for pest control. But the warden was not sure about the "deadly weapon" issue.Obviously I am covered for pests, but we have a ton of tree squirrels, some rabbits and the (very) occasional turkey I would like to be able to hunt, under the scope of my hunting license.Anyone have any ideas? Encountered this before?Thanks for any info!JP

#2 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 07:23 PM

I'm not real sure about it. I just make sure to use my PCP (Benjamin Marauder) which is quiet and knock stuff out before my neighbors even know what happened. If your air gun is quiet and you are not shooting where a miss could cause injury or damage to surrounding buildings, I don't see why not. ;) else?

#3 Bisley

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 08:05 PM

First thing, DFG is a state organization. Each county or city can have it's own (even stricter) law regarding where you can or can't shoot.Second off, read those words again: ANY firearm or other DEADLY weapon. Pretty clear to me. Air guns don't kill things alive, they kill them DEAD. Answers that question.Third thing, maybe it's too simple so nobody thinks of it, but, isn't it much easier to take a half hour trip to the local LE Office to find out rather than trust a total group of strangers with YOUR freedom? I have never understood how a person can put so much faith about legalities to a total stranger. Not me!Just noticed too, ;)

#4 johnnypuffs

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:56 PM

Thanks Guys - Air Rifle Hunter - It would "seem" fine to me as well, considering I AM allowed to shoot here. But this is a Fish & Game thing, not a local criminal issue. The issue is not whether I can shoot, it's whether I can take "game" animals with my hunting license under DFG rules.. I have a .22 Benjamin Trail NP which is nice and quiet. Been target shooting it here for a long time. Neighbors can't hear much. It's quieter than a staple gun.Bisley - I would certainly NOT put faith in the answers of a total stranger. I do my own research. Since this is a Airgun hunting forum, I figured it was likely that someone may have ran across this issue before and might be able to site a DFG code that I could do further research on.1. I'm not sure if you read my whole post or not, but I live in the unincorporated part of the county. Not within city limits. While I can not discharge a "firearm" here, I can LEGALLY shoot air rifles all day. As I stated in my OP, I have confirmed this with the sheriff department. No laws against it.2. I not only contacted DFG, but called the main DFG office in Sacramento. The warden I spoke with said it was perfectly legal to take out "non-game" pests per the codes I stated. He himself was not sure if an air rifle was considered a "deadly weapon" or not. This is a warden in the main DFG office..We are not talking anything criminal here. I already know I can shoot legally. It would simply be a violation of DFG code, which would get me a fine and a ding against my hunting license. (3 in 5 years and they take your license)

Second off, read those words again: ANY firearm or other DEADLY weapon. Pretty clear to me. Air guns don't kill things alive, they kill them DEAD. Answers that question

Unfortunately under state law AND DFG law, it's not clear at all if an air rifle is a "deadly weapon". I would lean towards NOT more than anything. They are talking about "deadly weapon" towards humans. Now while an air rifle in the right circumstance MAY be able to kill a human, that is not what they are meant for and a pretty rare event. It's not as easy as saying something "can" kill. You can kill someone with a fork, butter knife, pen, etc.What I do know under CA law is:1. Airguns are NOT considered firearms, for any reason.I did some further research through the CA Penal Codes. I did a search on "deadly weapon" though the entire Penal Code and there are two places that mention the definition of a "deadly weapon" and found some interesting info:CA Penal Code 16430:

16430. As used in Division 4 (commencing with Section 18250) of Title 2, "deadly weapon" means any weapon, the possession or concealed carrying of which is prohibited by any provision listed in Section 16590.

CA Penal Code 16590:

16590. As used in this part, "generally prohibited weapon" meansany of the following: (a) An air gauge knife, as prohibited by Section 20310. b Ammunition that contains or consists of a flechette dart, asprohibited by Section 30210. c A ballistic knife, as prohibited by Section 21110. (d) A belt buckle knife, as prohibited by Section 20410. (e) A bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, asprohibited by Section 30210. (f) A camouflaging firearm container, as prohibited by Section24310. (g) A cane gun, as prohibited by Section 24410. (h) A cane sword, as prohibited by Section 20510. (i) A concealed dirk or dagger, as prohibited by Section 21310. (j) A concealed explosive substance, other than fixed ammunition,as prohibited by Section 19100. (k) A firearm that is not immediately recognizable as a firearm,as prohibited by Section 24510. (l) A large-capacity magazine, as prohibited by Section 32310. (m) A leaded cane or an instrument or weapon of the kind commonlyknown as a billy, blackjack, sandbag, sandclub, sap, or slungshot, asprohibited by Section 22210. (n) A lipstick case knife, as prohibited by Section 20610. (o) Metal knuckles, as prohibited by Section 21810. (p) A metal military practice handgrenade or a metal replicahandgrenade, as prohibited by Section 19200. (q) A multiburst trigger activator, as prohibited by Section32900. ® A nunchaku, as prohibited by Section 22010. (s) A shobi-zue, as prohibited by Section 20710. (t) A short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, asprohibited by Section 33215. (u) A shuriken, as prohibited by Section 22410. (v) An unconventional pistol, as prohibited by Section 31500. (w) An undetectable firearm, as prohibited by Section 24610. (x) A wallet gun, as prohibited by Section 24710. (y) A writing pen knife, as prohibited by Section 20910. (z) A zip gun, as prohibited by Section 33600.

Penal Code 12028.5 (3):

12028.5 (3) "Deadly weapon" means any weapon, the possession or concealed carrying of which is prohibited by Section 12020

Penal Code 12020 lists the weapons prohibited as:

any cane gun or wallet gun, any undetectable firearm, any firearm which is not immediately recognizable as a firearm, any camouflaging firearm container, any ammunition which contains or consists of any fléchette dart, any bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent, any ballistic knife, any multiburst trigger activator, any nunchaku, any short-barreled shotgun, any short-barreled rifle, any metal knuckles, any belt buckle knife, any leaded cane, any zip gun, any shuriken, any unconventional pistol, any lipstick case knife, any cane sword, any shobi-zue, any air gauge knife, any writing pen knife, any metal military practice handgrenade or metal replica handgrenade, or any instrument or weapon of the kind commonly known as a blackjack, slungshot, billy, sandclub, sap, or sandbag.

NO BB device, airgun, etc. is listed anywhere as being associated as a deadly weapon.In the entire DFGF code the term "deadly weapon" comes up once. In the original code that I mentioned, 3004, about not discharging a firearm or "deadly weapon" within 150 yards... etc.From my further reading I would have to say that as far as 3004 is concerned an airgun is NOT a deadly weapon, as DFG fails to define it. That would throw it back on the Penal Code which definitely does NOT define it as a deadly weapon.So, I guess I found my own answer.. :)One thing I would like to mention is that asking LE about something is certainly no guarantee that it is correct information. I have been a huge 2nd amendment advocate for half my life and have volunteered for gun rights groups. I've searched penal codes and talked to LE. What you are most likely to get from LE is information that is MORE restrictive than what your rights actually are. Penal Codes in general lay out what you CAN NOT do, not what you can do. If it does not say you can't do it, then legally you can do it. For example, in California you may transport a handgun in your vehicle as long as it is "unloaded" and "locked in a fully enclosed container". There is NOTHING in the penal code regarding where the ammunition has to be stored. You are perfectly legal to carry ammo (even loaded magazines) in the same locked container as your handgun. Even the CHP website states this in their FAQ:http://www.chp.ca.go...ml/answers.html

I will be traveling to California and want to carry my weapon. I currently have a concealed weapon permit. How can I legally transport my weapon while driving through the state?California law does not recognize concealed weapon permits from other states; therefore, they would not be held valid. If you wish to transport a handgun during your California visit, it should be carried unloaded in a locked container. In the absence of a suitable container, you may secure the unloaded handgun in the locked trunk of a passenger car. Ammunition may be kept in the same container or trunk, but the handgun must remain unloaded with no rounds in the cylinder and no loaded magazines in the magazine well.If you have additional questions, contact the California Department of Justice at 916-227-3703

As part of some old research I did verifying firearms statutes, I contacted the DOJ, Sheriff's Department and CHP main offices. In all 3 cases, I was told that ammunition MUST be stored separately from the firearm. Even from the CHP, whom have the opposite written on their website.If you want the truth, do your own research, then verify with an attorney specializing in that field.Like I stated, I knew I was legal shooting, just not whether I could take "game" under DFG code. I was hoping some of the other Airgun hunters here might know of any DFG code referring to this, as I have only hunted with firearms before now..Great forum. I hope to post up some good stuff in my new backyard adventures. I will need to try and find the pics I have from the raccoons I had to dispatch with the air rifle that were terrorizing our property..Happy hunting!JP

#5 johnnypuffs

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:09 PM

Hey Guys - Thanks for the replies.. I had done some further research and wrote out a long post last night. For some reason it said "needed to be approved by moderator" or something and it still has not shown up..Essentially, nothing in DFG code defines "deadly weapon". In the entire CA Penal Code there are two places which define what is a "deadly weapon" and "bb devices", air rifles, etc are NOT a deadly weapon..Thanks,JP

#6 ShooterJohn

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 01:36 PM

Here is some reading for you on airguns in California. But all of that said contact the sheriff department in your county to see what is legal in your area. After all they'll be the ones arresting you if there is a problem.http://www.airguntra...ws-regulations/

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#7 johnnypuffs

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:46 PM

Hey ShooterJohn.. Thanks for the link. California is actually a very air gun friendly state, which is odd considering their gun control laws are the most restrictive and ridiculous.I'm cleared with the sheriff to shoot airguns on my property. Totally legal. I shoot them almost daily.As soon as you are hunting you are then subject to DFG regs. The sheriff couldn't care less about DFG codes. The game warden for ourbregional area would be the one to hassle me. Worst case scenario would be a fine and a infraction against my hunting license. 3 in 5 years and they take your license.I'm pretty sure I'm clear due to the codes I looked up that define "deadly weapon", but my friend knows the head warden for our DFG district and is getting the scoop from him for me. Will report back what I hear.Thanks,JP

#8 johnnypuffs

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 06:48 PM

Not sure what is happening here.. Just made a post to shooter john and again it was sent to a moderator for approval.. Seems ransom. My last one never showed up..Why?

#9 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:23 AM

Trying going to your profile and sending ShooterJohn a PM (Personal Message) letting him know what your technical issue is. If it's fixable, he'll know what to do. I personally don't know why it would randomly choose to do it some times and not others. :crazy:

#10 4RHUNTS

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:55 AM

Hey Guys - Thanks for the replies.. I had done some further research and wrote out a long post last night. For some reason it said "needed to be approved by moderator" or something and it still has not shown up..Essentially, nothing in DFG code defines "deadly weapon". In the entire CA Penal Code there are two places which define what is a "deadly weapon" and "bb devices", air rifles, etc are NOT a deadly weapon..Thanks,JP

You will not find an automobile, lamp, or hammer listed in the Penal Code as deadly weapons either. But if you intentionally hit somebody with any one of them or shoot somebody with an air gun, you will most likely be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Anything that is likely to cause great bodily injury can be a deadly weapon as it relates to the Penal Code. Look up Penal Code section 245 (a) (1).As Shooter John suggested, I would contact your local Sheriff's Dept. and ask them.

#11 johnnypuffs

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:25 AM

Trying going to your profile and sending ShooterJohn a PM (Personal Message) letting him know what your technical issue is. If it's fixable, he'll know what to do. I personally don't know why it would randomly choose to do it some times and not others. :crazy:

Will do.. SOmething is flagging the posts I would guess.. Length or a word I'm using I would guess. Though I can't imagine what the word would be..

#12 johnnypuffs

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:30 AM

You will not find an automobile, lamp, or hammer listed in the Penal Code as deadly weapons either. But if you intentionally hit somebody with any one of them or shoot somebody with an air gun, you will most likely be arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. Anything that is likely to cause great bodily injury can be a deadly weapon as it relates to the Penal Code. Look up Penal Code section 245 (a) (1).As Shooter John suggested, I would contact your local Sheriff's Dept. and ask them.

I hear ya 4RHUNTS.. If someone is attacked with a pen it can be a deadly weapon..My long response that was "sent for moderation" answered this. DFG code referenced a CA Penal Code. That specific CA Penal Code listed specific "deadly weapons" of which airguns were not.Like I have states, I already have spoken with the sheriff. He said "shoot away", nothing illegal about it, but I would be responsible (of course) if I damaged someone else's property or person. So obviously it's not considered "deadly" as far as the SO. I asked the sheriff about the DFG and he said to ask DFG. They don't deal with DFG violations..It's not a question of whether it is legal to shoot airguns. I AM legal to do that here. It's a question of whether it's a violation of DFG rules while hunting under a CA hunting license..Thanks,JP

#13 ShooterJohn

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 11:48 AM

Okay they are visible now. For some reason my iPad didn't show the problem or I marked all threads as read. Too many computers and electronic devices I guess.

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#14 mtn dog

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

Johnnypuffs, right up front, I have only skimmed your very lengthy posts on this thread, so forgive me if I missed your answer to any of my questions.1. Have you read Santa Cruz County Ordinance Chapter 8.28 (Firearms)? http://www.codepubli...County0828.html2. When you talked with the Sheriff's Office about shooting your air rifle on your property, did you... a. ask them whether an air rifle is considered to be a firearm per County (not State) definitions? b. explain to him that you live on a small 1/2 acre parcel whereon no part of it is more than 150 yards from a neighbor's building? c. explain that you may or may not be shooting a pest or crop-destroying animal? (This is an allowed exception but ONLY if you are more than 150 yards away from a neighbors building (Ord 8.28.050 is NOT exempted from the specifications of Ord 8.28.040.) d. did you demonstrate that, in no case, would your projectile land on the property of a neighbor? e. explain to the SO that you have not attempted to get permission from any of your neighbors? 3. Is this worth risking a conviction of a firearms law and maybe jeopardizing your 2nd Amendment rights in the long run? Start with your local law enforcement and do so by inviting a Sergeant out to your property for a visual presentation of the proximity of your neighbors. Heck, use that opportunity to man-up and include your neighbors in the discussion! :crazy: In my opinion, you seem to be going to great effort to find loopholes to justify what you intend to do. From the sound of this county ordinance, at best you MIGHT be allowed to plink at inanimate targets if you are aiming downward so that a missed shot remains in your yard... MAYBE.
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#15 Bisley

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 08:43 PM

Don't let it get you tool worked up mtn dog. If you look at the third post on here (I do believe it is even printed in bold letters) that one should not argue over what we think is a firearm, and go to an LEO near the intended shooting site to make sure. That's my one and only do-good. Tired of wasting time with stuff like this. I figure they will have plenty of time to read about what they should have done if the local LEO disagrees with what makes a "firearm" or "deadly weapon". "But Officer, they told me on the web it was okay" :signs1242cn:

#16 johnnypuffs

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:36 PM

Hi Mtn Dog,Thanks for your response..

Johnnypuffs, right up front, I have only skimmed your very lengthy posts on this thread, so forgive me if I missed your answer to any of my questions.1. Have you read Santa Cruz County Ordinance Chapter 8.28 (Firearms)? http://www.codepubli...County0828.html

Yes, I have read the SC County ordinances regarding firearms.

2. When you talked with the Sheriff's Office about shooting your air rifle on your property, did you... a. ask them whether an air rifle is considered to be a firearm per County (not State) definitions?

Yes, I did specifically ask that question.. Airguns, BB guns, etc. are NOT considered firearms as far as Santa Cruz COUNTY ordinances are concerned. They ARE considered firearms in the CITY of Santa Cruz (for the purpose of discharge), which we are not any part of. It was explained to me by the sheriff (as well as already known to me) that if it is not defined specifically by a code/ordinance/etc. it falls back to the state Penal Code definition. Airguns fall under the definition of "BB Device" under CA Penal Code and are specifically NOT considered firearms. A "BB Device" is:"the term "BB device" means any instrument that expels a projectile, such as a BB or a pellet, not exceeding 6mm caliber, through the force of air pressure, gas pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun."

b. explain to him that you live on a small 1/2 acre parcel whereon no part of it is more than 150 yards from a neighbor's building?

Yes, in fact I gave them my exact address. They looked up the parcel, confirmed we were in the "no shoot" zone and that firearms were strictly forbidden, but any air rifle, bb gun, etc. was completely fine to shoot. He added the OBVIOUS caveat to "shoot safely" and if I were to damage a neighbors property or accidentally harm someone I could be held civilly responsible.County code as per your link:8.28.010 Firearm defined.“Firearm” means guns, pistols, shotguns, revolvers or any other firearms of a similar nature. (Prior code § 8.25.010 (part): Ord. 462, 5/24/55; Ord. 1201, 9/20/66)The CITY of Santa Cruz Municipal Code actually specifically excludes airguns from the definition of "firearm" as well, when related to possesion of a firearm:9.32.040 FIREARMS/AMMUNITION.As used in this chapter, the term “firearm” means any gun, pistol, revolver, rifle or any device, designed or modified to be used as a weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion. “Firearm” does not include imitation firearms or BB guns and air rifles as defined in Government Code section 53071.5. “Ammunition” is any ammunition as defined in Penal Code Section 12323.The CITY Municipal Code DOES however, add airguns specifically to their discharge laws:9.28.010 DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS.No person shall fire or discharge within the limits of the city, or in any of the city parks, any cannon, anvil, gun, air gun, slingshot, pistol or other firearm, except as hereinafter provided in this chapter.So anywhere within Santa Cruz city limits, an airgun is considered a firearm for the purposes of "discharge of firearms". In Santa Cruz COUNTY airguns are NOT considered firearms for the purposes of possession OR discharge. There is one exception regarding discharge and that is in County Parks, where they do specifically name "air guns" in the "shooting" regulations:10.04.260 ShootingExcept as otherwise authorized by law, no person shall use, maintain, possess or discharge any firearm, air gun, spring gun, bow and arrow, slingshot, paint ball gun or any other weapon potentially hazardous to wildlife or human safety within the boundaries of any park or within two hundred feet thereof. It is unlawful to shoot any of the weapons mentioned in this section into or across any park.Other than county parks you may possess and discharge airguns..

c. explain that you may or may not be shooting a pest or crop-destroying animal? (This is an allowed exception but ONLY if you are more than 150 yards away from a neighbors building (Ord 8.28.050 is NOT exempted from the specifications of Ord 8.28.040.)

Yes, I did ask about pest control. I was told there is nothing in the COUNTY ordinances against it, but there may be a DFG regulation. They do not enforce DFG so was told to contact DFG.Ordinances 8.28.040, 8.28.050, 8.28.070 ALL do NOT apply to airguns. They are specifically for firearms. Airguns are exempt from ALL of the ordinances in "Chapter 8.28 - Firearms". Airguns are not considered a firearm under county code.

d. did you demonstrate that, in no case, would your projectile land on the property of a neighbor?

I do not have to. You are referring to "8.28.070 - Discharging onto property of another without permission" which again, applies only to firearms, as defined by the county.

e. explain to the SO that you have not attempted to get permission from any of your neighbors?

I do not need permission from my neighbors to "discharge" an airgun on my property, as it is not a firearm and not against the law. You are referring to "8.28.050 Discharge near buildings." which again only applies to the county definition of firearms.

3. Is this worth risking a conviction of a firearms law and maybe jeopardizing your 2nd Amendment rights in the long run? Start with your local law enforcement and do so by inviting a Sergeant out to your property for a visual presentation of the proximity of your neighbors. Heck, use that opportunity to man-up and include your neighbors in the discussion! :signs1242cn: In my opinion, you seem to be going to great effort to find loopholes to justify what you intend to do. From the sound of this county ordinance, at best you MIGHT be allowed to plink at inanimate targets if you are aiming downward so that a missed shot remains in your yard... MAYBE.

If this were actually considered a "firearm" by any stretch of the imagination, NO, it would certainly NOT be worth a firearms conviction. It is extremely clear that it is NOT a firearm. I take my gun rights EXTREMELY seriously. Before I started shooting airguns on my property I not only called the sheriff. I called the sheriff on multiple occasions to speak to different deputies and make sure the opinion was consistent across the board. I searched the County and State code as well. Still, after all that I contacted my attorney to confirm all that I was told was actually the case. ONLY after all that did I proceed to shoot on my property. I also have kept a voicemail from a Sheriff Deputy who left me a message stating that it was perfectly lawful to discharge airguns at my address.I also take gun safety very seriously. That INCLUDES airguns in my book. Our 1/2 acre lot is probably not what you imagine. The entire lot has a 6 foot fence around it. We have 50 Oak trees on that 1/2 acre.Our neighbors all have similar type properties. We essentially live in the woods. For the most part I can not see my neighbors houses due to the setup of the lot. One whole side of our property has a steep drop off and actually overlooks a valley where there are no homes for well over 150 yards. All my areas that I shoot have a slope of some sort of backdrop that would prevent a flyer from ending up anyplace harmful.I'm definitely not looking to justify my behavior or find loopholes. If I was, I wouldn't bother contacting the sheriff, GIVING them my address, etc. I'm actively trying to be a law abiding citizen AND good neighbor. Even though the law allows it, if it were unsafe in any way I would simply not do it.PHEW! That was a lot of writing..OK, so to bring this thread to it's conclusion.Before I decided to take care of our pest problems with the air rifle I called DFG (as directed by the sheriff) and was told that it was entirely legal under DFG code. I was not acting under the privileges of my hunting license. I was acting as a property owner doing pest control, for which a hunting license is NOT required and is not considered hunting. Again, I spoke with multiple DFG agents to make sure I got a consistent answer. I have their names and phone numbers written down.Unfortunately, I spoke with the DFG warden for our area today and he stated that I could not actively "hunt" on this property due to DFG Code 3004:3004. (a) It is unlawful for any person, other than the owner, person in possession of the premises, or a person having the express permission of the owner or person in possession of the premises, to hunt or to discharge while hunting, any firearm or other deadly weapon within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or other building or any barn or other outbuilding used in connection therewith. The 150-yard area is a "safety zone."He stated they do consider an air rifle to be a "deadly weapon", even if the county and state did not. So I could not "hunt" on the property. Again, he did confirm that pest control is not considered hunting so 3004 does not apply as it states "to hunt or to discharge while hunting".Seems kind of ridiculous to me considering that it's legal as far as the country is concerned and even legal as far as DFG is concerned "for pest control as the landowner", but as soon as it is hunting it's NOW dangerous.. It does not really make any sense, but those are the breaks. The law is the law and I will obey it. No "hunting" tree squirrels, rabbits, etc. I'll have to make due with pest control, which we have no lack of..Not a big deal at all. I do plenty of hunting with firearms. I just thought it would be nice to be able to take tree squirrel, rabbit and turkey (in season) on my own property. No big loss..Take Care,JP

#17 johnnypuffs

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Posted 06 October 2011 - 10:47 PM

Don't let it get you tool worked up mtn dog. If you look at the third post on here (I do believe it is even printed in bold letters) that one should not argue over what we think is a firearm, and go to an LEO near the intended shooting site to make sure. That's my one and only do-good. Tired of wasting time with stuff like this. I figure they will have plenty of time to read about what they should have done if the local LEO disagrees with what makes a "firearm" or "deadly weapon". "But Officer, they told me on the web it was okay" :signs1242cn:

Bisley - I'm not sure why this is getting you worked up. I've been nothing but respectful of people's opinions..I just made a LONG post about the whole situation AND the outcome after speaking with our local warden today. Unfortunately it got "sent to moderator again". ShooterJOhn told me my replies were doing that because they included links and I am a new member. I specifically did NOT include links, but because I quoted mtn dog's original post WITH a link, it's there again..Like I already replied to you. I don't take my opinions "off the web". I have spoken with multiple sheriffs AND an attorney BEFORE I ever shot an airgun on my property. When I did call the sheriff (multiple times) I gave them my exact address where I wanted to shoot.. I TOTALLY AGREE with you. My first reply to you already stated that I spoke with the sheriff..You can read the details when the post shows up.. or not.Take care,JP

#18 Bisley

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:23 AM

Bisley - I'm not sure why this is getting you worked up. I've been nothing but respectful of people's opinions..

Me? Worked up? :1087: If I were worked up YOU WOULD KNOW IT. I am up late packing so we can move furniture into our family's newly acquired mobile home in the Owens Valley for the next two days. I couldn't get worked up right now if you ran over my shotgun and peed on my bird dog (or the other way around too). :D What I am guilty of is trying to save a man I have talked with several times (and respect) from wasting his time (mtn dog). He is very quick, and very helpful at looking things up. However, this would be a waste of time. You swap around the terms "firearm" and "deadly (which should actually be said as dangerous) weapon". If you have contacted both DFG and LEO and you do not have the answer you seek, you are either asking the wrong questions or just in denial and looking for a way to manipulate a reason for doing whatever you want anyways. What any of us in another county, or another city know or think is irrelevant! It doesn't amount to a hill of beans. THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WHAT THE GUYS WITH THE BADGES AND GUNS IN YOUR EXACT AREA THINK, AS THEY ARE THE ONES ENFORCING THE LAW. Let me try this one more time: THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WHAT THE GUYS WITH THE BADGES AND GUNS IN YOUR EXACT AREA THINK, AS THEY ARE THE ONES ENFORCING THE LAW. And since it seems so hard to comprehend, one last time: THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WHAT THE GUYS WITH THE BADGES AND GUNS IN YOUR EXACT AREA THINK, AS THEY ARE THE ONES ENFORCING THE LAW.I'm pretty sure now why (you think) you are not getting answers to your questions from DFG and LEO now :signs1242cn: Good luck, I can see you're going to need it for your court date :1087:

#19 johnnypuffs

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:18 AM

I'm up late working.. because that is the story of my life.. :signs1242cn:

THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS WHAT THE GUYS WITH THE BADGES AND GUNS IN YOUR EXACT AREA THINK, AS THEY ARE THE ONES ENFORCING THE LAW

Once again, I agree with you!I HAVE the answers I need. The only reason I've been replying with the appropriate codes is because other people NOT "in my exact area" seem to think I'm wrong..I'm not gonna spend 20 minutes on the details, they will be here when my post eventually shows up. In a nutshell:SC County - Airgun is NOT a Firearm. Sheriff Office IS local LE for unincorporated SC county. None of the firearms rules in the County Codes apply to airguns. Once again, this has NEVER been in question. As far as the sheriff is concerned, I am allowed to shoot air rifles on my property period.Apparently, the DFG are the ones who are confused. It took 5 phone calls to different DFG offices/wardens to get my answer. Simple question. Is an air rifle considered a "deadly weapon" when used to hunt on my property within 150 yards of another residence, as per 3004? Literally, everyone I talked to basically was stumped and handed me off to someone else. I finally spoke to the warden for our area. For pest control, air rifles are fine. It is not considered hunting. No license is needed and I am not acting under my hunting license. Now, if I want to take tree squirrels, rabbit or turkey then I am considered to be hunting. 3004 now applies and I can't discharge.Seems rather silly to me. Sheriff says OK to shoot. DFG says OK to shoot pests. As soon as it's "hunting", then it is not OK.Apparently shooting at a pest ground squirrel is fine and safe, but if I shoot at the tree squirrel standing next to him, I suddenly have a "deadly weapon" and it's not safe. Go figure.To be honest, I don't even know for sure that the warden who gave me that answer is correct. I know quite a bit about law and EVERYTHING is normally defined. DFG having no definition of "deadly weapon" is a fail on their part and they should update the code. But like you said, it really only matters "WHAT THE GUYS WITH THE BADGES AND GUNS IN YOUR EXACT AREA THINK, AS THEY ARE THE ONES ENFORCING THE LAW". Since the warden for this area interprets the code that way, the I have to abide by it, as silly as it is..No BFD. I do enough hunting with firearms. It just would have been fun to be able to take some game on my property.. Oh well.Good luck with the packing. No fun at all.Take care,JP




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