Safety & Legal FAQ

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Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Erik » Sun Aug 12, 2007 11:07 am

If you have specific questions relating to safety & legal issues involving airsoft, please post them here.

As questions are posted, I will answer them and add them to the FAQ.

Current FAQ Answers - more will be added as the topic evolves.

How old do I have to be to own an Airsoft gun?
It is a felony in Minnesota for a minor (person under 18) to purchase an Airsoft gun without written permission from their parents.

It is also a felony for any minor under age 14 to posess an airsoft gun. This is why the MAA has an age limit of 14 and older for membership.


How is an Airsoft gun defined under Minnesota Law? It is a BB gun or a replica?
"Airsoft Guns" are not specifically defined by Minnesota law. However, airsoft guns share characteristics of "airguns", "BB guns", and "Replica Firearms" under Minnesota law. As a result, they are subject to statutes covering all three definitions.

Under Minnesota Law, any crime involving an Airsoft gun is treated as if an actual real-steel firearm was used.

Relevant Cases:
Minnesota v. Peterson
Minnesota v. Schwalm
In the Matter of the Welfare of S.G.V., Child (Juvenille Case)

What are the risks of playing "Street Games?"
The most immediate threat is a lethal police response. In 1993, a Minneapolis Police Officer responded to a 911 call for a man chasing another with a gun. Upon arrival, he confronted a teenager holding what looked like a pistol (later found to be a cheap spring Airsoft gun). When the teen ran in the direction of the officer's partner, the policeman shot him with a 12-gauge shotgun, severing his spine and paralyzing him from the waist down. He and his family sued the city and lost. The court found that the officer acted reasonably. He's still paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for life.

Incidents like this have resulted in efforts to ban Airsoft in other states.

Criminal charges associated with a "street game" could include, but are not limited to: Carrying a Concealed Weapon, Posession of Uncased Firearms, Felony Assault, and Breach of the Peace.

In addition to criminal charges (punishable by a year in jail and fines up to $1000) your airsoft guns would also be confiscated and destroyed. If you recived probation, a condition of your probation would likely prohibit you from posessing an airsoft gun.

If you are convicted of a felony, you would be facing a year or more in a state prison, plus fines exceeding $1000. You will also lose your right to posess real-steel firearms, your right to vote, and face other restrictions for the rest of your life.


What do I need to do to play on private property?
First of all, you need permission from the property owner. If the property owner is not present during the game, you should carry written permission with you while playing.

Second, you need to ensure you don't cause a police incident. If the property is not secluded enough that bystanders will see the game, it's a very bad idea to play there. Even if the property is secluded, you should notify the local police/sheriff that you will be playing airsoft there.


What liabilities are associated with hosting an Airsoft game?
Ultimately the property owner is liable for anything and everything that happens during an Airsoft game on their property. This includes intentional or unintentional acts, medical emergencies, accidents, and property loss or damage.

Waivers do not protect you from being sued for damages that result from an Airsoft game. What a waiver does is offer a defense in court that the "victim" knew of the risks and voluntarily participated in the event. Even with waivers, you can still be sued. If you are a minor, your parents can be sued.

Unless you purchase special event insurance (contact an insurance broker for information about this) any liability should be covered by the property owner's general liability policy. As insurance policies vary from company to company, you should check with your insurance carrier to see if you are covered.


Can I bring my Airsoft gun to school, if I leave it in my car, in the parking lot?

Absolutely not. Minnesota laws prohibit poesssion of BB guns and other "dangerous weapons" on school grounds, even when school is not is session. In the Matter of the Welfare of A.J.H. (Juvenille case)


Where can I play "legally"?
There are basically 3 places:

1. On Privately-owned land, with expressed written permission from the landowner;
2. On Publicly-owned land, with expressed written permission and any required permits from the organization which controls the land;
3. At dedicated playing fields.

Regardless of the ownership status or purpose of the property, it's a terrible idea to play airsoft anywhere a non-participant might see you, or where there is a risk of accidental property damage or injury.

A good rule of thumb is: if your shots might leave the playing area, then it's too small.

Certain local restrictions may apply as well - for example, in Minneapolis and many other cities, it's illegal to fire an airsoft gun unless you are underground (eg, in a basement).


Do I have to keep the orange tip?
No. There are no laws in Minnesota which require your gun to have an orange tip, or prevent you from removing the orange tip.

Minnesota Statute 325f.81 requires a "warning label" to be included with replica/toy guns, but that does not apply to projectile-firing weapons.

Having an orange tip will NOT protect you from criminal prosecution, and it will NOT ensure you don't get shot by a responding law enforcement officer if you are doing something illegal, reckless, or stupid.

It is important to remember that THE ORANGE TIP IS NOT A SAFETY DEVICE!


How should I store/carry my guns?
The same way you would real steel.

Minnesota Statutes say that gun must be:

1. Unloaded
2. In a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm, if the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened, and no portion of the firearm is exposed.

This law expressly mentions BB guns as well, so it would reasonably apply to Airsoft.

The MAA sepcifically recommends you transport your guns in a locking gun case and unloaded, and that you put the gun case in the trunk of your car or (if your vehicle has no trunk) in the least accessible section of the passenger compartment.


What should I do if the Police enter one of my games?

1. Immediately cease all activity. Make a BLINDMAN call.
2. Don't move unless you are told to.
3. Do whatever the Officer says. If you recieve no direction, ask the Officer what he wants you to do.
4. Don't argue, even if you think you are being mistreated. On the field while you are being detained is not the time to argue with the police. Your attitude can mean the difference between being released and arrested.
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Post by MPuzzle » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:12 pm

Hi Erik,

Can you tell me if there are any legal issues for persons with felony convictions to own/carry/use airsoft guns?

Thanks.
Last edited by MPuzzle on Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Erik » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:50 pm

There are two issues here.

First of all, Minnesota law bans firearms possession or ownership for any person convicted of a felony or gross misdemeanor crime of violence. Other felony convictions may also prohibit firearms possession or ownership. Persons who have committed misdemeanor domestic abuse crimes are also banned (Federal law).

However, there is some controversy as to whether or not airsoft guns fall into the specific firearms definition(s) for the purposes of this statute.

The question then becomes "Could an Airsoft gun be considered a 'firearm'?" Caselaw says YES.

State v. Seifert, 256 N.W.2d. 87, 88 (Minn. 1977).
The supreme court applied the definition of ?firearm? set forth in Minn. Stat. ? 97.40, subd. 34 (1974), the game-and-fish law (now codified at Minn. Stat. ? 97A.015, subd. 19 (2004)). Id. Under this statutory definition, a firearm is ??any gun from which a shot or a projectile is discharged by means of explosive, gas, or compressed air.?? Id. (quoting Minn. Stat. ? 97.40, subd. 34)
Minn. v. Fleming, 2006
A BB gun falls within the operative definition of ?firearm"
Minn. v. Glaser, 2005
Having statutory purpose in mind, we think that term should be defined broadly to include guns using newer types of projectile propellants and should not be restricted in meaning to guns using gunpowder.
Caselaw, as you can see above, states that a firearm is:
1. "A BB gun"
2. "any gun from which a shot or a projectile is discharged by means of explosive, gas, or compressed air."

So the question which would have to be answered is: Does an Airsoft gun discharge a shot or projectile using the means of gas or compressed air? Good luck with that in court.

There may be other prohibitions as well. In short:

If a person has a conviction for a felony or gross misdemeanor crime of violence - NO WAY

If a person has another felony conviction - PROBABLY NOT
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by WhiteFox77 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 9:48 pm

Erik wrote: How old do I have to be to own an Airsoft gun?
It is also a felony for any minor under age 14 to posess an airsoft gun. This is why the MAA has an age limit of 14 and older for membership.
From the topic: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)
Subdivision 1. Misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor crimes. (a) Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a crime and may be sentenced as provided in paragraph (b):

(6) outside of a municipality and without the parent's or guardian's consent, furnishes a child under 14 years of age, or as a parent or guardian permits the child to handle or use, outside of the parent's or guardian's presence, a firearm or airgun of any kind, or any ammunition or explosive.
Possession of written evidence of prior consent signed by the minor's parent or guardian is a complete defense to a charge under clause (6).
I'm not sure which topic is correct, but I noticed the difference as I read them one after the other.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Erik » Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:17 am

Applicable statute is the "Dangerous weapons" one. It's a misdemeanor outside of a municipality and a felony within a municipality.

Either way, it's going to be a serious criminal offense. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a $1000 fine, not to mention a permanent criminal record and seizure and forfieture of the gun.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by WhiteFox77 » Tue Jun 17, 2008 11:10 am

Thanks for the clerification :)
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by ZuneMan4 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 8:47 pm

Is it legal to target practice in my backyard as long as nobody is around?

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by caveman » Sat Jun 28, 2008 9:01 pm

ZuneMan4 wrote:Is it legal to target practice in my backyard as long as nobody is around?
The legality will depend some what on where you live. (And I suspect Eric would be a better person to address that anyway.)

However, plinking in you back yard is a bad idea even if it is legal. Airsoft guns just look too much like the real thing. If someone called in and said they saw someone in your yard with a gun, the police have to assume it's real. (Even if it has a red tip.)

If you really want to be safe and shoot at targets, check out some of the BB traps you can buy/build. Then shoot in your basement. You can vary the targets more, and play around with setting up cover etc...
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by ZuneMan4 » Sat Jun 28, 2008 10:03 pm

Thanks caveman for clarifying that. Also, instead of shooting in my basement (which probably is not a good idea since I have a smaller house) what are some safe places to target practice? By the way I live in Eden Prairie if that will help you with any ideas.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by WhiteFox77 » Sun Jun 29, 2008 1:35 am

If you are talking about and out-door site, you'd have to fallow all the "normal" rules for doing out-door airsoft. It'd have to be an area with controlled access so there is 0% chance of someone just wandering into the area. It'd have to be out of public view so people don't see you shooting an M4, MP5, AK47... and call the cops. You'd have to have permission from the land owner, and it's always a good idea to make sure the police in the area know what you are doing.

A better option for target practice would be a normal gun range. They fulfill all the above requirements, and have the targets all setup and ready to go. A friend of mine asked me to go to a range with him once to shoot of some of his real-steel guns. I brought a couple airsoft guns with, a M92FS-GBB, and my Styre AUG. Not only did no one laugh at me for having "toys" at the range as I was worried about, half the people there wanted to try them out, including the guy who was running the range.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by ZuneMan4 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 9:31 pm

Thanks whitefox. Yeah I was wondering the same thing about going to a gun range to do target practice, but I was not sure if these ranges would allow it. After what you said, it sounds like it would work. Also, to be honest with you I do not even own an AEG at the moment. I have just been doing some research to find out if it was worth while to buy a gun, even if I just do target practice. Thanks for your input, you have pretty much made up my mind about purchasing an AEG.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by mojocatt » Thu Jul 03, 2008 6:14 pm

My personal rule of thumb when "backyard shooting" is if it is a remote location where it is legal for one to discharge real steel on a private range or hunt. Even then I keep a low profile with the airsoft equipment as an assualt rifle can be a more alarming sight than the .22, even out in the country.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by karalynn » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:17 pm

My 13-year-old step-son just came home from a friend's house and asked us to buy an airsoft gun for him. He and his friend (also 13) were shooting an airgun rifle at trees and rocks in the friends backyard in a residential area in Oakdale. We did not have knowledge that he was using the airsoft gun and absolutely did not give permission. His dad and I printed off some of the statutes from this forum for his dad to review. Any advice on how to handle, both with our son and with the other boy's parents? From what I'm reading here, it appears to be a terrible idea and potentially illegal. I don't want our son's friend to get hurt or his parents to get in trouble, but I don't want to overreact either. Suggestions?

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by MajWinters636 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:28 pm

karalynn wrote:My 13-year-old step-son just came home from a friend's house and asked us to buy an airsoft gun for him. He and his friend (also 13) were shooting an airgun rifle at trees and rocks in the friends backyard in a residential area in Oakdale. We did not have knowledge that he was using the airsoft gun and absolutely did not give permission. His dad and I printed off some of the statutes from this forum for his dad to review. Any advice on how to handle, both with our son and with the other boy's parents? From what I'm reading here, it appears to be a terrible idea and potentially illegal. I don't want our son's friend to get hurt or his parents to get in trouble, but I don't want to overreact either. Suggestions?
First off I applaud you for taking action as parents. You really don't see that very often. I would suggest calmly talking to the other parents and explaining the severity of the issue at hand. It is never a good idea to shoot airsoft guns in a residential area.

Send Erik a PM, he is the MAA safety officer and i am sure he can give you some great information.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by karalynn » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:31 pm

MajWinters636 wrote:
karalynn wrote:My 13-year-old step-son just came home from a friend's house and asked us to buy an airsoft gun for him. He and his friend (also 13) were shooting an airgun rifle at trees and rocks in the friends backyard in a residential area in Oakdale. We did not have knowledge that he was using the airsoft gun and absolutely did not give permission. His dad and I printed off some of the statutes from this forum for his dad to review. Any advice on how to handle, both with our son and with the other boy's parents? From what I'm reading here, it appears to be a terrible idea and potentially illegal. I don't want our son's friend to get hurt or his parents to get in trouble, but I don't want to overreact either. Suggestions?
First off I applaud you for taking action as parents. You really don't see that very often. I would suggest calmly talking to the other parents and explaining the severity of the issue at hand. It is never a good idea to shoot airsoft guns in a residential area.

Send Erik a PM, he is the MAA safety officer and i am sure he can give you some great information.
Thank you for the quick response... I will PM Erik. This is the 2nd time our son has asked for an airsoft gun. We (his mom included) all told him no the first time after researching it. When he told us that he has friends who own them and play with them in the backyard, we thought he was exaggerating. I'm certain they didn't have goggles or any precautionary measures.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Wolfwood » Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:32 pm

Thanks for coming to us for advice on this.

Absolutely is that not a good idea. Reading over the existing Statutes is a great start, so is the safety rules listed here. I would recommend calling the friend's parents and giving them the same information. The safety issues aren't as obvious to some people, so there's no need to be angry or anything. But they should understand the dangers and laws.

Some google searches can find you some horror stories involving airsoft and law enforcement. They all have the same thing in common, no parental supervision and no respect for basic gun safety and common sense. If you don't follow gun safety, you are being extremely dangerous.

Gabe, "The_Archangel", has some handouts that we give to parents. I would recommend PM-ing him.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Baphomet » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:57 am

Can I store/transport an airsoft gun (without orange tip) in a lock box or locked bag?

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Erik » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:17 am

Baphomet wrote:Can I store/transport an airsoft gun (without orange tip) in a lock box or locked bag?
Did you read the entire thread? The answer is in the first post.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Baphomet » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:33 am

Sorry stupid question... But what about...

Where can I legally carry my guns/how does it have to be in the car? Like if I had them in a gun case and was walking downtown mpls could I be charged with a crime?

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Shady-Cadence » Fri Feb 19, 2010 6:56 am

If they are unloaded, and in a case built specifically for guns, you are complying with the law.

That being said, I do NOT recommend walking around downtown with a gun case.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by rbrat97 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:08 pm

i am 14 and i was originally going to ask if best friend who is 13 (14 in Jan) could go to wars but i guess not, thanks for the info
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Hellchylde » Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:09 am

In regards to playing on private property and liability issues:

(I couldn't find any mention of this anywhere on the site, so I thought I would post this to make sure people are aware.)

Minnesota, like many states, has a statute that is specifically designed to protect landowners from liability issues when allowing other people to use their property for recreational purposes WITHOUT CHARGE. These laws are found in many states, and are almost always found in states (like MN) where outdoor recreational activities and related tourism are a major part of the states' economies.

This is 'copied & pasted' directly from the Minnesota Hunting & Trapping Regulations Handbook 2011:


Landowner Liability (Minn. Stat. 604A.20-604.27)
An owner who gives written or oral permission for the use of the land
for recreational purposes without charge does not, by that action:
• extend any assurance that the land is safe for any purpose,
• confer upon the person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to
whom a duty of care is owed, or
• assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to the
person or property caused by an act or omission of the person.


Now it is important to note that this statute does NOT mean that a landowner cannot be sued should someone be hurt on their property, but it does give them specific legal protection in court should a case be brought. Virtually anyone CAN be sued at just about any time for just about any reason, and often successfully if their lawyer is good enough! That is, SADLY, a given in modern day American law. Still, people should be aware this statute does exist.

Many of us do not live near a sanctioned or 'proper' airsoft field and have no realistic choice but to rely on the good graces of other property owners for places to play on a regular basis. Most of you who live in 'outstate' MN know exactly what I'm talking about. You play at a friend or relatives' farm-place, or their grove, or the woods in their "back 40" or some-such. That is usually not a big deal, but sometimes you may have to ask permission to use the land of someone who is just an acquaintance or even a stranger. Hunters and fishermen often have to do just that. Airsoft is really no different. Actually, one might have to check the numbers, but I'm pretty sure far less people have been seriously hurt or injured playing airsoft than hunting! Nothing against hunting. I'm just saying...... :wink:

The main point here is that many landowners may not know that they do have legal protection under Minn. Stat. 604A.20-604.27, and even if they are generally aware of the protection, it will usually be in relation to hunting or fishing even though the statute applies to any recreational activity, including airsoft. Most people don't know much about airsoft and landowners may say NO to people playing on their property just to be on the safe side, especially since it involves players shooting AT EACH OTHER! Oh, the horror.......! But if you can inform the landowner about the applicability of this statute they might be more inclined to allow you to play on their land.

Anyway, this statute is something that any potential benefactor or patron should be aware of if you're asking permission to play on their land. Of course remember that even if you have permission to play on private property there are still other MN statutes that apply to the proper handling and use of firearms etc... Even if the landowner isn't responsible for that, YOU still are!

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:37 am

Thanks, HC.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by THE ARCHANGEL » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:13 am

Good post sir! A couple thing of note for readers with selective vision:
Hellchylde wrote:In regards to playing on private property and liability issues:
Minnesota, like many states, has a statute that is specifically designed to protect landowners from liability issues when allowing other people to use their property for recreational purposes WITHOUT CHARGE.
This is not an issue with most games but it is a specific part of home owners policies and the corresponding laws that DO NOT COVER for profit ventures. So host games if you want just be careful about "charging" for them.
Hellchylde wrote:Many of us do not live near a sanctioned or 'proper' airsoft field and have no realistic choice but to rely on the good graces of other property owners for places to play on a regular basis. Most of you who live in 'outstate' MN know exactly what I'm talking about. You play at a friend or relatives' farm-place, or their grove, or the woods in their "back 40" or some-such. That is usually not a big deal, but sometimes you may have to ask permission to use the land of someone who is just an acquaintance or even a stranger. Hunters and fishermen often have to do just that. Airsoft is really no different. Actually, one might have to check the numbers, but I'm pretty sure far less people have been seriously hurt or injured playing airsoft than hunting! Nothing against hunting. I'm just saying...... :wink:
Treating a previously public accessed area like a hunting area is smart. When the MAA has run events on private property we always hang signs (whether people take he time to see the blaze orange signs is another issue) with contact numbers and an explanation of what is happening. The last BATC had an interesting run in with a local who disregarded the clearly posted signs and safety tape.
Hellchylde wrote:The main point here is that many landowners may not know that they do have legal protection under Minn. Stat. 604A.20-604.27, and even if they are generally aware of the protection, it will usually be in relation to hunting or fishing even though the statute applies to any recreational activity, including airsoft. Most people don't know much about airsoft and landowners may say NO to people playing on their property just to be on the safe side, especially since it involves players shooting AT EACH OTHER! Oh, the horror.......! But if you can inform the landowner about the applicability of this statute they might be more inclined to allow you to play on their land.
Land owners should be aware of the laws and their rights but we can;t look down on people who still decide it's a risk. Anyone who has run an event knows, waivers are worth almost nothing but in a court battle it shows clear intent of the player.....so you're still going to go to court and you're still going to pay....but you're less likely to be the sole loser. Also, hosting events SHOULD be something land owners consider carefully and decide whether or not the legal headaches are worth it....legal or not.
Hellchylde wrote:Anyway, this statute is something that any potential benefactor or patron should be aware of if you're asking permission to play on their land. Of course remember that even if you have permission to play on private property there are still other MN statutes that apply to the proper handling and use of firearms etc... Even if the landowner isn't responsible for that, YOU still are!
Spot on sir. Also remember....just because it's legal to play somewhere....and you have permission....doesn't make it a good or safe place to play. Use your head when choosing places to play or host.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Erik » Tue Jan 03, 2012 11:48 am

Thanks for posting that, HC. Very good points.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Rabid-Weasel » Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:51 pm

Topic made a sticky.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by serrin » Sat May 19, 2012 7:07 pm

Hey. I went to the trouble of registering here just so I could thank you guys for being so straightforward and concise on the topic.
"Thank you."
...my 12-year-old son has several friends who are running willy-nilly about their neighborhoods with Airsoft guns, their parents apparently completely ignorant of the issues at hand. Of course, my son approached me with the idea of buying one or more of them himself since it's obviously so much fun (which I don't doubt). He got a "maybe" at first, my only defense being the classic "you'll shoot your eye out" argument. And he has himself been running around outside with one of his friends' "toys" or "weapons" (depending on legal interpretation) without my knowledge. Looked into it (muzzle velocities vs injuries, etc) and came across your site. Unfortunately, now I have to be the bad guy tossing a wet blanket on things... informing my son's friends' parents of the legal truth and real risks involved (somebody calling the cops to investigate and possibly open fire if a kid makes the wrong move, etc). He cringed as I explained that I needed to talk to his friends' parents about this, apologizing for possibly marking him as the snitch who ruined their fun.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by THE ARCHANGEL » Sun May 20, 2012 9:34 am

serrin wrote:Hey. I went to the trouble of registering here just so I could thank you guys for being so straightforward and concise on the topic.
"Thank you."
...my 12-year-old son has several friends who are running willy-nilly about their neighborhoods with Airsoft guns, their parents apparently completely ignorant of the issues at hand. Of course, my son approached me with the idea of buying one or more of them himself since it's obviously so much fun (which I don't doubt). He got a "maybe" at first, my only defense being the classic "you'll shoot your eye out" argument. And he has himself been running around outside with one of his friends' "toys" or "weapons" (depending on legal interpretation) without my knowledge. Looked into it (muzzle velocities vs injuries, etc) and came across your site. Unfortunately, now I have to be the bad guy tossing a wet blanket on things... informing my son's friends' parents of the legal truth and real risks involved (somebody calling the cops to investigate and possibly open fire if a kid makes the wrong move, etc). He cringed as I explained that I needed to talk to his friends' parents about this, apologizing for possibly marking him as the snitch who ruined their fun.
Pardon my verbosity, but you get an "A" for responsibly reporting on your area of interest.
-Serrin
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Many kids your sons age find out about Airsoft and want to play. It is a ton of fun but can be very dangerous without the proper safety gear and right mindset. Encourage your son to read about Airsoft online and LEARN about it. We've had a lot of younger kids who have waited until they were 14 to play with us but they stuck around and researched what to get and how to play which made them better prepared for playing real Airsoft. Please let us know if you need any other information. One of the reasons the MAA was formed was to help out in situations like yours.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Master TCAA » Sun May 20, 2012 9:58 pm

Hi Serrin,
I can email you an some MAA saftey info that is available in our new tri-fold. Here is my email: danmagnuson@msn.com
I would invite you to come to my shop and look around. I would be happy to talk to anyone you bring about the basic rules of airsoft. It is so important that we educate young players about where to play and the proper safety equipment as well. I'm located in Otsego, MN.
Send me a message if you want my cell number.

Thanks

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by quterwip » Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:23 pm

I have heard that combat airsoft has 9 year olds play but I'm guessing that he played with his dad. I have an example of how it can be bad to play on backyards. Some kids down my street stated tho play airsoft. The all have high powered guns and they all play STREET GAMES. No one has reported them yet but when their nebighbors were trying to sell their house they were looking around at the siding and found 9 HOLES IN THE SIDING. FROM BB'S. THEIR DAD PAID FOR IT SO THEY WOULDN'T CALL THE COPS. Latter they RAN FROM THE COPS AFTER SHOOTING A 5 YEAR OPD GIRL AND PLAYING IN A PUBLIC PARK. Knowing that at anytime someone could easily arrest them I hope no one follows what they did those days. Be SAFE and have FUN.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by bdbraaten » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:30 am

I have been reading through this page after being given a couple of airsoft guns from a relative.

After talking with a friend in Minneapolis about him shooting airsoft with his son I thought they'd be a good bonding experience for me and my oldest son. I remember shooting bb guns with my father as a child in rural North Dakota.

I was originally thinking of setting up cardboard backstops to catch strays on the fence surrounding an open piece of land in out townhouse complex with a target sitting in front of it.

The problem I'm facing after reading this page is the issue of age, the references to the age of 14 in earlier posts. So is it illegal for someone under 14 to use an airsoft even under adult supervision?

We'd already established the rules of no handling the guns at all unless I am supervising, and he was going to be required to wear the safety glasses he wears while helping me work on projects around the house. The guns and ammo are stored in the top of my closet where he can't get to them.

Reading the warnings posted here I've decided to abandon the idea of shooting in the open area, I can set up a backdrop/catch in our garage so we're not shooting out in the open. I purchased the crossman sticky target from Fleet Farm to shoot at.

The problem I'm running into is the age issue, my son will be 8 at the end of the month. Is it illegal for him to shoot it even under my supervision? I may have stepped in it here, I am trying to figure my next move before I do anything else stupid.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Viper » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:27 am

It is legal for a person under 14 years of age to handle an airsoft gun as long as they are under the direct physical supervision of a parent at all times during. See this thread for more information about airsoft laws and minors.

One important aspect of the way the law is written (and the MAA interprets it), is that the child must be under direct supervision at all times. In the MAA's opinion, this is unfeasible during an airsoft game, so we do not allow those under age of 14 attend. Again, though, it is perfectly legal for a child under 14 to shoot an airsoft gun under supervision, such as target shooting (in a legal place, of course).

Since that means you'll probably just be doing static target shooting, I recommend maybe also getting your son a traditional BB gun. Some outdoor shooting ranges allow BB guns (I believe Oakdale Gun Club does). A traditional BB gun would give your son a better chance to develop good shooting fundamentals, as to be honest, for a lot of people airsoft is a spray-and-pray technique.

Also, I commend you for taking the time to research the issue and doing things right. It's great to see parents involved in the sport -- better yet, getting their kid involved in the sport like you're doing.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by bdbraaten » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:23 am

JudgeViper wrote:It is legal for a person under 14 years of age to handle an airsoft gun as long as they are under the direct physical supervision of a parent at all times during. See this thread for more information about airsoft laws and minors.

One important aspect of the way the law is written (and the MAA interprets it), is that the child must be under direct supervision at all times. In the MAA's opinion, this is unfeasible during an airsoft game, so we do not allow those under age of 14 attend. Again, though, it is perfectly legal for a child under 14 to shoot an airsoft gun under supervision, such as target shooting (in a legal place, of course).

Since that means you'll probably just be doing static target shooting, I recommend maybe also getting your son a traditional BB gun. Some outdoor shooting ranges allow BB guns (I believe Oakdale Gun Club does). A traditional BB gun would give your son a better chance to develop good shooting fundamentals, as to be honest, for a lot of people airsoft is a spray-and-pray technique.

Also, I commend you for taking the time to research the issue and doing things right. It's great to see parents involved in the sport -- better yet, getting their kid involved in the sport like you're doing.


Thank you for the reply and the link, I'll go read read it as soon as i finish this.

As we're just getting into it right now our only interest is in static target shooting, the only guns I've shot since I was a teen are were either nerf or water guns. Nerf or water guns are all my son has ever fired.

Are you by any chance psychic? ;) ;) My plan is to get him a bb pistol in a couple years so we can go to a range together and shoot, once I find an instructor to work with to help me find a pistol that works well for a left handed shooter. In the meantime I figured the airsofts would be a good way to work on his aim and basic fundamentals before moving up.

I hear you about the spray and pray aspect of the games, he won't be using one of the guns we were given because it appears to fire in full auto only, we'll be sticking to the single/semi automatic guns for what we're doing.

I didn't know about the games prior to my research into the laws, I'll think about checking one out for myself to see what they're like.

I appreciate you thanking the time to respond, thank you for all the help and advice.

Have a great weekend and happy shooting.

Brent

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by tydude69 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:42 pm

I have a question, that may or may not have already been answered. I read through the above posts, but didn't find quite what I was looking for. So my question is, Is it legal for me to bring my airsoft guns with me in the car (in the trunk of course), but in a suitcase or something similar? Because a suitcase can be closed with zippers, and completely covers all parts of the barrel, right? Sorry if this was already answered!

Thanks for the help! :D

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Archer » Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:53 pm

tydude69 wrote:I have a question, that may or may not have already been answered. I read through the above posts, but didn't find quite what I was looking for. So my question is, Is it legal for me to bring my airsoft guns with me in the car (in the trunk of course), but in a suitcase or something similar? Because a suitcase can be closed with zippers, and completely covers all parts of the barrel, right? Sorry if this was already answered!

Thanks for the help! :D
a gun case is anything that completely encases a weapon by covering all parts of it. this includes hard cases, soft cases with zippers (which is what your suitcase would fit into) and gun socks. so yes, your suitcase would work as an impromptu gun case, so long as all parts of the gun are inside and you can shut it completely.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by AMR » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:27 am

Archer wrote:
tydude69 wrote:I have a question, that may or may not have already been answered. I read through the above posts, but didn't find quite what I was looking for. So my question is, Is it legal for me to bring my airsoft guns with me in the car (in the trunk of course), but in a suitcase or something similar? Because a suitcase can be closed with zippers, and completely covers all parts of the barrel, right? Sorry if this was already answered!

Thanks for the help! :D
a gun case is anything that completely encases a weapon by covering all parts of it. this includes hard cases, soft cases with zippers (which is what your suitcase would fit into) and gun socks. so yes, your suitcase would work as an impromptu gun case, so long as all parts of the gun are inside and you can shut it completely.
Correct me if I am wrong but I always thought it had to be designed to carry a firearm? So a Suit case or guitar bags as I have seen in the past are not legal because they are not designed to carry a fire arm.
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Edit
in Erik's post
Erik wrote: How should I store/carry my guns?
The same way you would real steel.

Minnesota Statutes say that gun must be:

1. Unloaded
2. In a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm, if the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened, and no portion of the firearm is exposed.

This law expressly mentions BB guns as well, so it would reasonably apply to Airsoft.

The MAA sepcifically recommends you transport your guns in a locking gun case and unloaded, and that you put the gun case in the trunk of your car or (if your vehicle has no trunk) in the least accessible section of the passenger compartment.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Archer » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:36 am

AMR wrote:
Archer wrote:
tydude69 wrote:I have a question, that may or may not have already been answered. I read through the above posts, but didn't find quite what I was looking for. So my question is, Is it legal for me to bring my airsoft guns with me in the car (in the trunk of course), but in a suitcase or something similar? Because a suitcase can be closed with zippers, and completely covers all parts of the barrel, right? Sorry if this was already answered!

Thanks for the help! :D
a gun case is anything that completely encases a weapon by covering all parts of it. this includes hard cases, soft cases with zippers (which is what your suitcase would fit into) and gun socks. so yes, your suitcase would work as an impromptu gun case, so long as all parts of the gun are inside and you can shut it completely.
Correct me if I am wrong but I always thought it had to be designed to carry a firearm? So a Suit case or guitar bags as I have seen in the past are not legal because they are not designed to carry a fire arm.
97B.045 TRANSPORTATION OF FIREARMS

Edit
in Erik's post
Erik wrote: How should I store/carry my guns?
The same way you would real steel.

Minnesota Statutes say that gun must be:

1. Unloaded
2. In a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm, if the case fully encloses the firearm by being zipped, snapped, buckled, tied, or otherwise fastened, and no portion of the firearm is exposed.

This law expressly mentions BB guns as well, so it would reasonably apply to Airsoft.

The MAA sepcifically recommends you transport your guns in a locking gun case and unloaded, and that you put the gun case in the trunk of your car or (if your vehicle has no trunk) in the least accessible section of the passenger compartment.
that may be the case (no pun intended) for Minnesota then.

just get a rifle case.... soft ones are super cheap and even most hard ones are getting to be a reasonable price.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Guges Mk3 » Fri Jul 20, 2012 7:57 am

I love laws...there is always room for interpretation.

"In a gun case expressly made to contain a firearm"

Technically, in my book. If you take a guitar case. And you modify it to hold a Firearm by adding foam pads, installing a clasp system where you can lock it and repaint it.

It is technically a case expressly made to contain a firearm because you cannot put in a guitar any more.

By the definition of the law...this is legal.

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Ellusion » Sun Feb 10, 2013 1:30 am

First off, I'm so glad to have found an airsoft forum specific to Minnesota! Secondly, I have two questions:

1) What are the laws on owning an airsoft gun whilst living in a rental home?

2) Are there any laws on flash hiders with sharp tips? I don't think there are, but rather safe than sorry!

Thanks in advance!
-Ellusion

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Guges Mk3 » Sun Feb 10, 2013 4:57 am

1) What are the laws on owning an airsoft gun whilst living in a rental home?

No different than any home.

2) Are there any laws on flash hiders with sharp tips? I don't think there are, but rather safe than sorry!

None.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Tank » Mon Feb 11, 2013 3:33 pm

As Guges said there's no laws against sharp flash hiders, HOWEVER....I would not recommend hiders like the Tomatrix. Eventually you WILL stab yourself (or worse, someone else) with it.

I've seen some nasty wounds (usually to the leg) from a sharp, pokey flash hider inadvertently finding flesh.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Ellusion » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:21 am

Guges Mk3 wrote:1) What are the laws on owning an airsoft gun whilst living in a rental home?

No different than any home.
Correct me if I'm wrong (and I hope I am), but I was under the impression that since the rental complex is all owned by the same person, and since ownership of airsoft guns (or any form of gun, for that matter) was not discussed in the lease, that it is technically illegal to have an airsoft gun on the premise without written consent of the property owner. I have tried to contact him about this, but he lives an hour away, the complex office employees aren't allowed to give out any of his information, and there's no other way to contact him. In this situation, would it be legal for me to have an airsoft gun while living in one of these rental homes?
Thanks
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Archer » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:58 am

Unless it is expressly forbidden in your lease contract, then there should be no issue.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by THE ARCHANGEL » Fri Feb 15, 2013 12:13 pm

Archer wrote:Unless it is expressly forbidden in your lease contract, then there should be no issue.
Correct. I rent. I have always rented. I have 30 Airsoft guns hanging on the walls. My landlord has been over many times. Now, I did warn her of my hobby but there is no generic provision in rental agreements that I am aware of forbidding firearms or specifically Airsoft guns. Also remember, most people have no idea what Airsoft guns are so say paintball/BB/and Airsoft guns. You should ask as it's good protocol. If they ever need to do something to your rental unit while you are away (I always take off time) they should know not to be shocked.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Tank » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:20 pm

I also rent and I never say shit to them about anything I own. It's none of their business. They cannot prevent you from having airsoft guns, paintball, guns, BB guns, or even firearms, unless those items are illegal to posses/own in the municipality in which you live.

Even if they could it would have to be mentioned specifically in the lease.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Ellusion » Fri Feb 15, 2013 11:07 pm

Awesome, thanks guys!
-Ellusion

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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Uncle Acid » Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:28 pm

One thing worth adding since this happened to me personally is if you rent (even if you own, but specifically if you rent) it is not a good idea to keep your guns out in the open. I'm not talking about on a display rack, I'm talking about sitting behind a door, against a closet, ect... here is why:

•In 2003 I had a friend named Blake who had a GBB M92 that he used to shoot bugs around the house and mess around with. He had some friends over and a girl and her friend saw the gun sitting casually on a table and flipped out. It ended up being an incredibly unpleasant experience for everyone involved, the cops got called (once she found out what was going on she felt stupid and called them back to say she was wrong but they still showed up unfortunately), then Blake's dad ended up coming over and rained hellfire down on all of us.

Moral: You never know who is going to be inside your home, and how they will react to what they perceive as a loaded firearm.

•In 2008 I had a maintenance guy come to my apartment while I was at work. I showed up when he was finishing up and I thought everything was normal and fine. When he left, just before he walked out the door he said "Just a word to the wise, lock up your machine guns before strangers come over." In reference to the airsoft STAR FNC in my room. I explained it was an airsoft gun, and then explained what airsoft was. That was the end of it there. But a number of things could have come from that including all sorts of people being notified that there was 'machine gun' in my apartment. Of course I should have put it away in a case, but what if it had been an emergency and maintenance came in unexpectedly? What if that guy decided he wanted a 'machine gun'? Or maybe told a friend? The police are not the only people to worry about coming for your 'guns.'

Moral: You never know when a stranger is going to be in your home, and how they will react to what they perceive is a "machine gun."

•Last year (2011) my old roommate was... making some bad decisions... which resulted in the police searching my apartment. I was completely caught off guard by this and went from 'everything is normal' to having 2 police officers going through my bedroom in a instant. As I was going thru my walk through closet I walked past -but from the officers standpoint up to- my WE M14 with magazine in it without even thinking about (It was hidden from plain view, in my room, in my closed closet after all!) which resulted in a extraordinarily intense moment that nearly got me shot at point blank by the cops over a toy.

Moral: Don't get shot over a toy. Guns go in Gun Cases.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Archer » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:56 pm

The third situation could have simply been avoided by telling the officers that it was there, what it was, and letting them handle it. But yes, firearms, both real and airsoft should always be kept in a safe and hidden location so as to not arouse problems from visitors.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Uncle Acid » Mon Apr 08, 2013 6:08 pm

Archer wrote:The third situation could have simply been avoided by telling the officers that it was there, what it was, and letting them handle it.
Absolutely. That is definitely part of the take away from that story. In that specific instance because of the circumstances and the speed of their entry there was barely time to get a word in, but for someone in that situation yes disclosure is always the safest route.
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Re: Safety & Legal FAQ

Post by Bunny » Tue Apr 09, 2013 9:37 pm

Uncle Acid wrote:
Archer wrote:The third situation could have simply been avoided by telling the officers that it was there, what it was, and letting them handle it.
Absolutely. That is definitely part of the take away from that story. In that specific instance because of the circumstances and the speed of their entry there was barely time to get a word in, but for someone in that situation yes disclosure is always the safest route.
Also would have been mitigated by not storing your rifles with a magazine in them ...

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