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· Lawyer and Gun Activist
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Is It a Weapon?

The Georgia school zone law bans any "weapon," which is there defined to include "any pistol or revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missle of any kind..." O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1 (a) (2).

Well, a drinking straw with a small bit of moistened paper wadded up in it is obviously an instrument designed to propel a missile. The missle is called a "spitball" and although the straw is not commonly called a blowgun, that's what it is. A miniature blowgun.

But is it a "weapon"? Does this law criminalize possession of an instrument or device that propels a missle, or only a WEAPON that propels a missile?

If the latter, then part of the definition of "weapon" would have to be that it is intended to cause pain and injury to the person struck with it. That is a fundamental characteristic of a weapon.

Does a modern 175 f.p.s. "AirSoft" gun qualify as a "weapon" ?
It can cause pain and bruising. But that's not the point of using them, only an unavoidable consequence if you shoot them at each other in a game similar to paintball. Paintballs, by the way, weigh ten times as much as a little plastic AirSoft 6mm pellet, and they often travel at 300 f.p.s.

I have an old Air Soft pistol, a replica of a M1911, that shoots its pellets at about 400 f.p.s. It was made back in the days before Air Soft guns were intended to be shot at other people in a game. At 400 f.p.s., my gun was intended for plinking and indoor quickdraw practice. It will shoot completely through a soft aluminum beverage can. It will shatter a cheap pair of plastic-lens sunglasses.
 

· Lawyer and Gun Activist
Joined
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30,205 Posts
P.S.

Just FYI, you'll notice that the definition of a "weapon" in the School Zone law also bans knives with a blade over 2". I have several plastic butter knives as part of my picnic plasticware set whose blades exceed that length. I wondered if the law had an exception for butter knives used in the school cafeteria. So I called my local school.

No. No exceptions. And OUR cafeteria doesn't have any knives. If the kids can't eat it with a fork and spoon, they just don't serve it!

Wow. I feel so much safer. I mean, I was worried about the kiddies for a while there. Thank God we have vigilant school officials opening packages of plastic utensils and removing the butter knives, but leaving the sporks, the tightly folded napkins, and the little paper packages of salt and pepper!
 
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