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Is it legal to own and fire an airsoft gun in your backyard ...

Resolved Question:

Is it legal to own and fire an airsoft gun in your backyard in Maryland?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  David Coleman replied 6 years ago.
Dear Sir,

Yes it is legal as long as the owner of the gun is over 18 years of age. The Baltimore council in Maryland did consider banning bb guns recently because they were used in a spate of armed robberies, but as far as I know, this law did not eventuate. There are however a long list of federal regulations about the exact type of imitation firearms which you can own. Not all manufacturers would produce compliant airsoft guns so it would be good to check that it is compliant before purchasing it. I have attached the regulations below for you to read. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions.

Regards,

XXXXX XXXXX


15 USC Sec. 5001 is the law 15CDR1150 is the Rule as implemented in the Federal Register

-CITE- 15 USC Sec. 001 01/16/96
-EXPCITE- TITLE 15 - COMMERCE AND TRADE
CHAPTER 76 - IMITATION FIREARMS
-HEAD-
Sec. 5001. Penalties for entering into commerce of imitation firearms
-STATUTE-
(a) Acts prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm unless such firearm contains, or has affixed to it, a marking approved by the Secretary of Commerce, as provided in subsection (B) of this section.
(B) Distinctive marking or device; exception; waiver; adjustments and changes
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), each toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm shall have as an integral part, permanently affixed, a blaze orange plug inserted in the barrel of such toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm. Such plug shall be recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel of such firearm.
(2) The Secretary of Commerce may provide for an alternate marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm not capable of being marked as provided in paragraph (1) and may waive the requirement of any such marking or device for any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm that will only be used in the theatrical, movie or television industry.
(3) The Secretary is authorized to make adjustments and changes in the marking system provided for by this section, after consulting with interested persons.
© ''Look-alike firearm'' defined For purposes of this section, the term ''look-alike firearm'' means any imitation of any original firearm which was manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898, including and limited to toy guns, water guns, replica nonguns, and AIR SOFT guns firing nonmetallic projectiles. Such term does not include any look-alike, nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior to 1898, or traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.
(d) Study and report The Director of the Bureau of Justice Statistics is authorized and directed to conduct a study of the criminal misuse of toy, look-alike and imitation firearms, including studying police reports of such incidences and shall report on such incidences relative to marked and unmarked firearms.
© (FOOTNOTE 1) Technical evaluation of marking systems
(FOOTNOTE 1) So in original. Probably should be ''(e)''.
The Director of (FOOTNOTE 2) National Institute of Justice is authorized and directed to conduct a technical evaluation of the marking systems provided for in subsection (B) of this section to determine their effectiveness in police combat situations. The Director shall begin the study within 3 months after November 5, 1988, and such study shall be completed within 9 months after November 5, 1988.
(FOOTNOTE 2) So in original. Probably should be ''of the''.
(f) Effective date This section shall become effective on the date 6 months after
November 5, 1988, and shall apply to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms manufactured or entered into commerce after November 5, 1988.
(g) Preemption of State or local laws or ordinances; exceptions The provisions of this section shall supersede any provision of State or local laws or ordinances which provide for markings or identification inconsistent with provisions of this section provided that no State shall –
(I) prohibit the sale or manufacture of any look-alike, nonfiring, collector replica of an antique firearm developed prior to 1898, or
(ii) prohibit the sale (other than prohibiting the sale to minors) of traditional B-B, paint ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure.
-SOURCE-
(Pub. L. 100-615, Sec. 4, Nov. 5, 1988, 102 Stat. 3190.)

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 15, Volume 3, Parts 800 to end]
[Revised as of January 1, 1997]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 15CFR1150]
[Page 338-339]

TITLE 15--COMMERCE AND FOREIGN TRADE

CHAPTER XI--TECHNOLOGY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

PART 1150--MARKING OF TOY, LOOK-ALIKE AND IMITATION FIREARMS
Sec.
1150.1 Applicability.
1150.2 Prohibitions.
1150.3 Approved markings.
1150.4 Waiver.
1150.5 Preemption.
Authority: Section 4 of the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988, 15 U.S.C. 5001. Source: 54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989, unless otherwise noted.
Sec. 1150.1 Applicability.
This part applies to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms (``devices'') having the appearance, shape, and/or configuration of a firearm and produced or manufactured and entered into commerce on or after May 5, 1989, including devices modeled on real firearms manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898. This part does not
apply to:
(a) Non-firing collector replica antique firearms, which look authentic and may be a scale model but are not intended as toys modeled on real firearms designed, manufactured, and produced prior to 1898;
(B) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589-85, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns, June 28, 1985. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials,XXXXX Philadelphia, PA 19103. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC; and
© Decorative, ornamental, and miniature objects having the appearance, shape and/or configuration of a firearm, including those intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and so on, provided that the objects measure no more than thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length, the length measurement excluding any gun stock length measurement.
[57 FR 48453, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.2 Prohibitions.
No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (``device'') covered by this part as set forth in Sec. 1150.1 of this part unless such device contains, or has affixed to it, one of the markings set forth in Sec. 1150.3 of this part, or unless this prohibition has been waived by Sec. 1150.4 of this part.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989]
Sec. 1150.3 Approved markings.
The following markings are approved by the Secretary of Commerce:
(a) A blaze orange (Federal Standard 595a, February, 1987, color number 12199, issued by the General Services Administration) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number, solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of Federal Standard 595a may be obtained from the Office of Engineering and Technical Management, Chemical Technology Division, Paints Branch, General Services Administration, Washington, DC 20406. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
(B) A blaze orange (Federal Standard 595a, February, 1987, color number 12199, issued by the General Services
[[Page 339]]
Administration) or orange color brighter than that specified by the Federal Standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director for the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of Federal Standard 595a may be obtained from the Office of Engineering and Technical Management, Chemical Technology Division, Paints Branch, General Services Administration, Washington, DC 20406. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
© Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents.
(d) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in XXXXX, XXXXXght red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright XXXXX, XXXXXght blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 48454, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.4 Waiver.
The prohibitions set forth in Sec. 1150.2 of this part may be waived for any toy, look-alike or imitation firearm that will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industries. A request for such a waiver should be made, in writing, to the Chief Counsel for Technology, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. The request must include a sworn affidavit which states that the toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry. A sample of the item must be included with the request.
[57 FR 48454, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.5 Preemption.
In accordance with section 4(g) of the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 5001(g)), the provisions of section 4(a) of that Act and the provisions of this part supersede any provision of State or local laws or ordinances which provides for markings or identification inconsistent with the provisions of section 4 of that Act
or the provisions of this part.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989]



[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 15, Volume 3, Parts 800 to end]
[Revised as of January 1, 1997]
From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access
[CITE: 15CFR1150]
[Page 338-339]

TITLE 15--COMMERCE AND FOREIGN TRADE

CHAPTER XI--TECHNOLOGY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

PART 1150--MARKING OF TOY, LOOK-ALIKE AND IMITATION FIREARMS
Sec.
1150.1 Applicability.
1150.2 Prohibitions.
1150.3 Approved markings.
1150.4 Waiver.
1150.5 Preemption.
Authority: Section 4 of the Federal Energy Management Improvement
Act of 1988, 15 U.S.C. 5001.
Source: 54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989, unless otherwise noted.
Sec. 1150.1 Applicability.
This part applies to toy, look-alike, and imitation firearms (``devices'') having the appearance, shape, and/or configuration of a firearm and produced or manufactured and entered into commerce on or after May 5, 1989, including devices modeled on real firearms manufactured, designed, and produced since 1898. This part does not
apply to:
(a) Non-firing collector replica antique firearms, which look authentic and may be a scale model but are not intended as toys modeled on real firearms designed, manufactured, and produced prior to 1898;
(B) Traditional B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of compressed air, compressed gas or mechanical spring action, or any combination thereof, as described in American Society for Testing and Materials standard F 589-85, Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Non-Powder Guns, June 28, 1985. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies may be obtained from the American Society for Testing and Materials,XXXXX Philadelphia, PA 19103. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC; and
© Decorative, ornamental, and miniature objects having the appearance, shape and/or configuration of a firearm, including those intended to be displayed on a desk or worn on bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and so on, provided that the objects measure no more than thirty-eight (38) millimeters in height by seventy (70) millimeters in length, the length measurement excluding any gun stock length measurement.
[57 FR 48453, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.2 Prohibitions.
No person shall manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm (``device'') covered by this part as set forth in Sec. 1150.1 of this part unless such device contains, or has affixed to it, one of the markings set forth in Sec. 1150.3 of this part, or unless this prohibition has been waived by Sec. 1150.4 of this part.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989]
Sec. 1150.3 Approved markings.
The following markings are approved by the Secretary of Commerce:
(a) A blaze orange (Federal Standard 595a, February, 1987, color number 12199, issued by the General Services Administration) or orange color brighter than that specified by the federal standard color number, solid plug permanently affixed to the muzzle end of the barrel as an integral part of the entire device and recessed no more than 6 millimeters from the muzzle end of the barrel. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director of the Federal Register in accordance with U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of Federal Standard 595a may be obtained from the Office of Engineering and Technical Management, Chemical Technology Division, Paints Branch, General Services Administration, Washington, DC 20406. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
(B) A blaze orange (Federal Standard 595a, February, 1987, color number 12199, issued by the General Services
[[Page 339]]
Administration) or orange color brighter than that specified by the Federal Standard color number, marking permanently affixed to the exterior surface of the barrel, covering the circumference of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least 6 millimeters. This incorporation by reference was approved by the Director for the Federal Register in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. Copies of Federal Standard 595a may be obtained from the Office of Engineering and Technical Management, Chemical Technology Division, Paints Branch, General Services Administration, Washington, DC 20406. Copies may be inspected at the office of the Associate Director for Industry and Standards, National Institute for Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland, or at the Office of the Federal Register, 800 North Capitol Street, NW., suite 700, Washington, DC.
© Construction of the device entirely of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device's complete contents.
(d) Coloration of the entire exterior surface of the device in XXXXX, XXXXXght red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright XXXXX, XXXXXght blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989, as amended at 57 FR 48454, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.4 Waiver.
The prohibitions set forth in Sec. 1150.2 of this part may be waived for any toy, look-alike or imitation firearm that will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industries. A request for such a waiver should be made, in writing, to the Chief Counsel for Technology, United States Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230. The request must include a sworn affidavit which states that the toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm will be used only in the theatrical, movie or television industry. A sample of the item must be included with the request.
[57 FR 48454, Oct. 26, 1992]
Sec. 1150.5 Preemption.
In accordance with section 4(g) of the Federal Energy Management Improvement Act of 1988 (15 U.S.C. 5001(g)), the provisions of section 4(a) of that Act and the provisions of this part supersede any provision of State or local laws or ordinances which provides for markings or identification inconsistent with the provisions of section 4 of that Act or the provisions of this part.
[54 FR 19358, May 5, 1989]
David Coleman, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1105
Experience: BEc(SocSci). LLB (Usyd) - 5 years of Work Experience
David Coleman and 4 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Is it okay to fire the air rifle in an open neighborhood backyard in Prince Georges County Maryland?
Expert:  David Coleman replied 6 years ago.

Dear Sir,

I am not aware of any law which prevents you from doing this. As long as the weapon itself is legal. However, I would think it is generally not a good idea to discharge a weapon anywhere it could possibly harm some else or their property. I would also try to be courteous to your neighbours in the process. If you are really concerned, you should see a liscenced attorney in Maryland. He will be able to certify for you one way of the other. I am legally not allowed to provide legal advice in this forum, only advice of a genral and informational nature.

Regards,

XXXXX XXXXX

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David Coleman
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BEc(SocSci). LLB (Usyd) - 5 years of Work Experience