Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

If you are new to the boards make sure you read this forum before posting.

Moderator: THE ARCHANGEL

Touchette
MAA Member
Posts: 842
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Touchette » Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:59 pm

Kronza wrote:Is it legal to use a mock-suppressor in Minnesota and Wisconsin?
This applies to MN only: Airsoft suppressors could be deemed illegal depending on how the law is interpreted (if taken literally a 20oz bottle could be deemed illegal), but I haven't heard of anyone in MN getting prosecuted for using a fake suppressor on their airsoft gun.

I don't know suppressor law in WI.
Kronza wrote:Is it legal to take of the orange tip?
Yes.
Touchette
(Pronounced Two-Shay)

gottabea1911
Almost A Regular
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:55 am
Location: monticello

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by gottabea1911 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:13 am

Touchette I'm gonna have to think your wrong.
I've been to several gun stores that sell real guns with mock suppressors so I would have a hard time believing it's illigal to have on a airsoft gun.
Also there are many pellet rifles sold in mn that have functioning suppressors on them which also leads me to think it would be ok.
your gun is as unique as you make it

User avatar
Guges Mk3
MAA Member
Posts: 8837
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:01 am
Location: MN

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:50 am

gottabea1911 wrote:Touchette I'm gonna have to think your wrong.
I've been to several gun stores that sell real guns with mock suppressors so I would have a hard time believing it's illigal to have on a airsoft gun.
Also there are many pellet rifles sold in mn that have functioning suppressors on them which also leads me to think it would be ok.
Sorry Gottabea...you are the one in error here.

From the MN Statutes themselves:

609.66 DANGEROUS WEAPONS.
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):
(1) recklessly handles or uses a gun or other dangerous weapon or explosive so as to endanger the safety of another; or
(2) intentionally points a gun of any kind, capable of injuring or killing a human being and whether loaded or unloaded, at or toward another; or
(3) manufactures or sells for any unlawful purpose any weapon known as a slungshot or sand club; or
(4) manufactures, transfers, or possesses metal knuckles or a switch blade knife opening automatically; or
(5) possesses any other dangerous article or substance for the purpose of being used unlawfully as a weapon against another; or
(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).
(b) A person convicted under paragraph (a) may be sentenced as follows:
(1) if the act was committed in a public housing zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 19, a school zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 14a, or a park zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 12a, to imprisonment for not more than one year or to payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both; or
(2) otherwise, including where the act was committed on residential premises within a zone described in clause (1) if the offender was at the time an owner, tenant, or invitee for a lawful purpose with respect to those residential premises, to imprisonment for not more than 90 days or to payment of a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
Subd. 1a.Felony crimes; silencers prohibited; reckless discharge. (a) Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 1h, whoever does any of the following is guilty of a felony and may be sentenced as provided in paragraph (b):
(1) sells or has in possession any device designed to silence or muffle the discharge of a firearm;
(2) intentionally discharges a firearm under circumstances that endanger the safety of another; or
(3) recklessly discharges a firearm within a municipality.
(b) A person convicted under paragraph (a) may be sentenced as follows:
(1) if the act was a violation of paragraph (a), clause (2), or if the act was a violation of paragraph (a), clause (1) or (3), and was committed in a public housing zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 19, a school zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 14a, or a park zone, as defined in section 152.01, subdivision 12a, to imprisonment for not more than five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both; or
(2) otherwise, to imprisonment for not more than two years or to payment of a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.


MN does not define Airsoft guns as a BB gun. It does not define Airsoft well in fact and you have to treat them like a firearm.

Guns sold with "mock" suppressors is just that "mock". If you have a mock suppressor on your AEG that is the same thing. However if your mock suppressor is foam filled and it suppresses the noise of your Airsoft gun by 1 decible. By ATF definitions this IS a suppressor and is thus technically a crime and felony.

No pellet rifle has "functioning" suppressors. Most pellet guns makes very little noise themselves and thus a bulbous head like this:

Image

Is NOT a suppressor.
I rather use a "nightmare" that shoots like a dream over something that looks like a "dream" but shoots like a nightmare.

Don't fear the gun...fear the one that's wielding it!

gottabea1911
Almost A Regular
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:55 am
Location: monticello

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by gottabea1911 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:15 am

How come they can sell them saying on the box that they are suppressed?
your gun is as unique as you make it

Touchette
MAA Member
Posts: 842
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Touchette » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:09 pm

gottabea1911 wrote:How come they can sell them saying on the box that they are suppressed?
Marketing gimmicks.
Touchette
(Pronounced Two-Shay)

User avatar
Guges Mk3
MAA Member
Posts: 8837
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:01 am
Location: MN

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Guges Mk3 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:51 pm

There is a difference between a removable noise suppressor and one that is permanently affixed.

Plus a BB gun is NOT a firearm...while an Airsoft gun is NOT classified as a bb gun...so it must count as a firearm.
I rather use a "nightmare" that shoots like a dream over something that looks like a "dream" but shoots like a nightmare.

Don't fear the gun...fear the one that's wielding it!

User avatar
Tank
Team PALADIN
Posts: 3752
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2003 4:01 am
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Tank » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:22 pm

Guges is partially correct.
However, the BAFTE makes no distinction between integral (non-removable) vs removable suppressors. That said, the BATFE has ruled in the past that certain integral suppressors for paintball were NOT firearms suppressors unless said device was cut off and then attached to a firearm. Unfortunately in airsoft there are no truly integral suppressors at this time.

Also the 1 decibel thing applies to the BATFE's testing standards. If a device attached to the BATFE's test weapon (a .22 LR) reduces the noise of even a SINGLE shot, by even 1 decibel, then they classify it as a suppressor, and thus an NFA item.

This is from the BATFE's web site (FAQ section).
Q: Are Paintball and/or Airgun Sound Suppressers NFA firearms?
The terms “firearm silencer” and “firearm muffler” mean any device for silencing, muffling, or diminishing the report of a portable firearm, including any combination of parts, designed or redesigned, and intended for use in assembling or fabricating a firearm silencer or firearm muffler, and any part intended only for use in such assembly or fabrication.
Numerous paintball and airgun silencers tested by ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch have been determined to be, by nature of their design and function, firearm silencers. Because silencers are NFA weapons, an individual wishing to manufacture or transfer such a silencer must receive prior approval from ATF and pay the required tax. See also “What are the required transfer procedures for an individual who is not qualified as a manufacturer, importer, or dealer of NFA firearms?” and “How does an individual obtain authorization to make an NFA firearm?” for application details.
If you have any further questions as to the classification of a paintball or airgun silencer, please send a written request to ATF’s Firearms Technology Branch.
[18 U.S.C. 921(a)(24), 26 U.S.C. 5845(a), 27 CFR 479.11]
This is also from the BATFE
General characteristics of known firearm silencers include:
1 Ported inner tube (bleed holes)
2 Expansion chambers
3 Baffles or washers which create seperate expansion chambers
4 sound dampening material such as foam, steel wool and other materials
5 End Caps
6 Encapsulators

MOCK suppressors are totally fine. THAT said, most of the MOCK suppressors on the market could potentially be classified as a firearm suppressor if the BATFE really wanted to push the issue.
Sadly, if the BATFE wants to ruin your day because of an airsoft suppressor they will find a way to justify it.

ALL that said...I'm unaware of anyone, in any state, being prosecuted for using an airsoft suppressor (mock or otherwise) on an airsoft gun. That's not to say it CAN'T or WON'T happen just that it HASN'T happened YET.
MAA Member Number: 47
Team PALADIN
MAA BATC Instructor / Cadre

TrustJesus
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:51 am

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by TrustJesus » Fri May 29, 2015 10:13 am

In the law it says "guardian"...does guardian refer to a friend's dad, aunt, uncle, sibling over 18, or does it only refer to the minors parents?

Also, in the entire law 609.66 DANGEROUS WEAPONS it states that it is illegal to:
(2) intentionally points a gun of any kind, capable of injuring or killing a human being and whether loaded or unloaded, at or toward another
If the MAA considers an airsoft gun a firearm (which they have many times in this post) then by law wouldn't any airsoft event (whether sponsored by the MAA or not) be against the law considering players are constintely pointing guns AND SHOOTING at one another.

Please help answer these two questions if possible and help me understand why the MAA is so strict about the 14 year old policy and handling the "firearm'" but not about the legality of pointing the same "firearm" at a person.

Thank you in advance.

User avatar
Archer
MAA Member
Posts: 701
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:42 pm
Location: Eagan, MN

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Archer » Fri May 29, 2015 12:12 pm

airsoft markers are NOT legally firearms, so the law is moot. we do however encourage people to treat them like normal firearms for the purposes of storage, transport and safe handling.

one could also argue that if you are taking reasonable safety precautions (i.e. goggles, facemask, etc) that they are not capable of causing significant injury under normal operation.

guardians for minors are considered to be only those who are legally responsible for you. so usually only your own parents.
Task Force Echelon - Click and like our facebook page!
OP IRENE X - T.F. Ranger - Charlie Company 1-3 Medic
OP IRENE XI - Somali Freedom Fighters 3-1 Medic
TCA Giant Airsoft Game I & II - Midwest Alliance General

TrustJesus
Newbie
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:51 am

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by TrustJesus » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:44 am

I guess I'm a little confused. If the law is "moot" and airsoft guns are NOT legally considered firearms, then why throughout this post are people from the MAA saying those under 14 need to have parental supervision when handling an airsoft gun (private property or not)? Or why does the MAA not allow those under 14 to play if the law is "moot"?

User avatar
Archer
MAA Member
Posts: 701
Joined: Sun Aug 14, 2011 7:42 pm
Location: Eagan, MN

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Archer » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:22 pm

the law that is being referenced makes the differentiation between FIREARMS and AIRGUNS, and includes them within the scope of the regulation specifically.
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).
this is why those under the age of 14 are not allowed.

the code you referenced (609.66) i'm sure uses the term "gun" as a synonym for "firearm" which airsoft guns are not, nor does it mention or reference them or any other type of airgun. it only makes the distinction that it be capable of causing bodily harm, which as I stated, under proper conditions, an airsoft gun is not.

even then, if that was within the spirit of the law, and what we are doing was illegal, don't you think that the legal businesses that are registered with the state as doing what would be considered an illegal activity would have run into issues with police or business authorities?
Task Force Echelon - Click and like our facebook page!
OP IRENE X - T.F. Ranger - Charlie Company 1-3 Medic
OP IRENE XI - Somali Freedom Fighters 3-1 Medic
TCA Giant Airsoft Game I & II - Midwest Alliance General

User avatar
Guges Mk3
MAA Member
Posts: 8837
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 3:01 am
Location: MN

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Guges Mk3 » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:01 pm

Airgun is only defining bb guns.

One statement.

624.7181 RIFLES AND SHOTGUNS IN PUBLIC PLACES.
Subdivision 1.Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.
(a) "BB gun" means a device that fires or ejects a shot measuring .18 of an inch or less in diameter.

Thus Airsoft is not considered a bb/Air Gun.

However, Airsoft continues to be "left" vague in MN Statutes and is not "clearly defined".

Can an Airsoft gun cause bodily injury. Yes and no. .25cal springer no...not really. AEG shooting 300fps with .20g. Shoot someone point blank and it will raise a welt/bruise. This is "bodily injury" by definition.

Since the Airsoft guns are not "clearly defined" we are erroring on the safe side as treating it as a firearm. This is two edged sword. You are protected because it is not defined, but if you mess up you can also be charged under 609.66 and 5th degree assault.
I rather use a "nightmare" that shoots like a dream over something that looks like a "dream" but shoots like a nightmare.

Don't fear the gun...fear the one that's wielding it!

User avatar
Erik
MAA Member
Posts: 4631
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Erik » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:31 am

"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)

Other Cases:

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 a 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."

I would also strongly believe that, while it not is clearly explained in the court documents, that some of the "replica BB guns which look like real firearms" mentioned in some cases are probably indeed Airsoft guns. This is speculation on my part, but I don't think it's too far off base.

In 2009 I consulted on a criminal case in Traverse County for Felon in Possession of a Firearm. The purpose of my testimony was to demonstrate that an Airsoft gun fired a projectile using compressed air (and therefore was a firearm for the purposes of that case). The case was dismissed for other reasons, but it’s an example of how prosecutors are looking at Airsoft as real guns when used in a crime.

Some other realities:

1. Minnesota caselaw trends indicate that, with very few exceptions, unlawfully transported or carried airguns are considered firearms.

2. Minnesota Statutes clearly prohibit the unlawful possession of firearms and BB guns in public places and motor vehicles. The MAA policy is designed to comply with these specific state laws.

3. The Minneapolis City Attorney's office concurs with this. The Minneapolis Police Dept. routinely confiscates illegal Airsoft guns and arrests those in possession.

4. The St. Paul City Attorney's office concurs with this, and drafted and passed a city ordinance clarifying it. Prior to the passage of this ordinance, the St. Paul Police confiscated a large number of Airsoft guns.

5. The Forest Lake City Attorney's office concurs with this, and drafted and passed a city ordinance clarifying it.

6. When researching the St. Paul law I consulted with the lead counsel for the Gun Owner's Civil Rights Alliance, who is also a law professor at Hamilne. His opinion was that Airsoft guns were "clearly firearms under the law."
110% PureBred Professional GunFighter
Team PALADIN
BATC Commandant
MAA Plank Owner
MAA Safety Officer 2001-2012
United States Army 1988-2000

AirsoftQuestion
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:05 pm

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by AirsoftQuestion » Tue Mar 29, 2016 10:07 pm

I have played airsoft in my backyard multiple times, but it has only been during the day. I was wondering, what is the latest time a person can play airsoft, shooting at another player (at age 16)?

Touchette
MAA Member
Posts: 842
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Touchette » Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:28 am

AirsoftQuestion wrote:I have played airsoft in my backyard multiple times, but it has only been during the day. I was wondering, what is the latest time a person can play airsoft, shooting at another player (at age 16)?
We will need to know what city you live in to assist you with your question. That said, if you live in the metro area it is very likely that the city has an ordinance banning airsoft use within city limits, which means that playing in your back yard (regardless of the time of day) may be illegal. Again, though, we need to know what city you live in to effectively answer your question.

Additionally, if by "played airsoft in my backyard" means that you're playing in a traditional residential area wherein houses are close to each other, then for your own safety, I would highly advise that you stop playing backyard games. The reasons are 1) it may be illegal, 2) people are skiddish nowadays and may call the cops on you, 3) those same police, or other people, may not realize you have a toy gun and will treat you as if you had a real gun and you may end up shot or going to jail.

We always advise that people interesting in playing airsoft do so at a field with proper safety procedures, equipment, and insurance. Playing on private property is fine as well, so long as it is legal in the area, you have appropriate permission from the property owner, you do so safely using proper equipment, and advise local law enforcement of your intentions (so that if they do get a call, they don't over-respond). I personally only play at locations with appropriate insurance and safety procedures in place, so that my friends and I are properly protected.
Touchette
(Pronounced Two-Shay)

FerociousSquirrel
Newbie
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:32 am
Location: Willmar

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by FerociousSquirrel » Mon Mar 27, 2017 8:37 am

I seen that before it was mentioned that people under 14 could "hang out" at MAA events. What do you mean by hang out? And, would "hanging out" also require direct parental supervision? Thanks!
"Shut up, I know what I'm doing" - FerociousSquirrel
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." - Maya Angelou

Touchette
MAA Member
Posts: 842
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2001 3:01 am
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Re: Minnesota Airsoft Laws for Minors (Under 18)

Post by Touchette » Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:36 pm

FerociousSquirrel wrote:I seen that before it was mentioned that people under 14 could "hang out" at MAA events. What do you mean by hang out? And, would "hanging out" also require direct parental supervision? Thanks!
Some of the information in this thread is/was given in the context of games run by the MAA, however, we rarely run games anymore as there are so many other hosts and well run events that it isn't a necessity. In the context of games run by the MAA, hang-out generally meant that you could come and see the event from the staging area and get all the off-field experience, and while it wasn't a requirement for your parent or guardian to be there as well we did highly suggest it to help educate both you as the interested party and the parent as the concerned and responsible party.

Ultimately, it is up to the specific fields and events (and their insurance requirements) on what level of involvement is going to be allowed by attendees and what amount of parental supervision is required.

I would highly suggest that you come out to the 2017 Airsoft Convention hosted by the MAA in about 8 days. You can follow the link to the Facebook event page, but the details are:

Event: 2017 Airsoft Convention
Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: Noon-6pm
Location: Northeast Minneapolis Armory
1025 Broadway St. NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Admission: $5 per person, CASH ONLY. Free admission for children 12 and under when accompanied by an adult.

The event will have tables and booths from local fields, teams, clubs, and retailers. They will all be more than happy to discuss anything and everything airsoft with you and/or your parents.
Touchette
(Pronounced Two-Shay)

Post Reply

Return to “Newbie info - Archive - FAQ”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest