Question about airsoft?

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by StoneDog, Nov 5, 2010.

  1. StoneDog

    StoneDog Member

    Hi Everyone,

    I've noticed some of the kids in my neighborhood playing airsoft and carrying around some of the higher-end models that are remarkably good replicas of AK's etc. These kids are late middle school / early high school age. They are not playing with them irresponsibly (in my opinion) and are certainly not pointing them at others or threatening people or pets.

    These kids tend to use them back in the woods behind the neighborhood and have, on occasion, been asked by the property owners to stop for liability purposes. They respect the wishes and go elsewhere.

    Now comes the fun part.

    We have covenants that prohibit the use of firearms in the neighborhood. Almost directly: "The term 'firearms' includes without limitation 'B-B' guns, pellet guns, paint guns and small firearms of all types." One of the homeowners is particularly upset that the kids are doing this and have contacted the HOA, sent letters to the parents, etc. Apparently she finally called the police and reported that one of the kids was wandering around the neighborhood with the airsoft rifle.

    The police then went door-to-door asking about the kid. All of the neighbors are talking about this now with a mixture of concern and eye-rolling.

    So, having laid down the reason I'm asking, here is the question: Is there anything illegal about a minor walking through a neighborhood with an airsoft gun in plain view? And if not, what could the police actually do besides talk to them?

    Related question, is there any sort of preemption in Georgia that would nullify HOA covenants like this? I would very much like to be able to teach my daughter basic marksmanship and safety with a "pellet gun" in my backyard.

  2. 1str8shot

    1str8shot New Member

    i remember when i was a kid, we used to shoot at each other with co2 bb guns just for fun, and the parents would all just sit back and say "let 'em get hurt one time and they'll learn". these days you cant even point your finger at someone without it being a big deal.

  3. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

    Unfortunately HOA's wield God-like power in GA when it comes to enforcing restrictive covenants. They cant take criminal action against a person, but they can asses fines, leins, and file lawsuits which will most likely be upheld in court :roll:

    My advice, work to amend the covenants or if your financially able, sue the HOA to enjoin them from enforcing that particular rule in the convenants.
  4. CountryGun

    CountryGun New Member

    Build an Airsoft range in your garage, and you'll become the most popular "old geezer" in the neighborhood. :lol: It'd also give you a great opportunity to meet parents, and form alliances.

    My real concern is for kids carrying Airsoft guns that look so realistic. What if somebody, not so savvy or stable, takes a shot at them out of fear they're carrying the real thing in his/her backyard? What if something bad goes down, there's some shooting, and LEO's arriving on the scene mistakenly shoot the kid with the AR? It's a really dumb and crazy world we have now.

    If I had kids with Airsofts, I'd want to be part of the activity, unless they were in the basement,............or your garage. :sly:
  5. 1str8shot

    1str8shot New Member

    i took my son out for trick or treat and there was a kid dressed as a soldier, with an airsoft ar-15. if it werent for the orange tip, i would have thought it was a real ar-15.

    it made me think that it would be awesome for me to dress up as a soldier next year at halloween, and spray the flash hider on my ar-15 orange, and go walk around town with it, mag full and one in the tube of course.
  6. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Here's a picture of an AirSoft AR carbine.
    I was shooting a real AR that day, too, so I put some 5.56mm ammo and my hearing protection down for this picture.

    I think the law would probably uphold the HOA's restrictive covenant if it were challenged.
    But what is the violation for breaking the rule? What kind of fine can they impose?

    If you want to teach your kid about gun handling with a pellet gun in your garage, basement, etc. will anybody know aobut it?
    Will they care? Will anybody complain?
    And if someone does complain and IF the HOA decides to punish you to the max, what IS the max anyway?
    If it's something like a $100 fine, it may be worth the risk to take.

    Teaching kids about gun safety and the pleasure of plinking is important.
  7. elandil

    elandil Redneck Engineer


    ^ :righton:

    Best advice I've heard.

    My nephew is very active in this at the college he attends. Some of the rifles he has not only looks realistic, but also tend to be very accurate. And they are a lot of fun to use.
  8. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    Even if the rifles were real and loaded I don't see anything illegal about the kids carrying them "through a neighborhood" in "plain view."
  9. phantoms

    phantoms Senior Mumbler

    Illegal and against a contract are two different things. One is criminal and one is civil.
  10. ClayD

    ClayD New Member

    From what I have seen all the new airsoft guns are made lf clear plastic with an the orange tips. Pretty hard to mistake from a real gun. But I do remember having the all black guns with orange tips that my neighborhood would have wars with. They were pretty dam realistic besides despite the orange tip. Regardless, its a toy. They do sting and if hit in the eye they could surely make one go blind. None the less, it is aggrivating that one wants to control it, even if the kids are using them responsibly.
  11. SongDogSniper

    SongDogSniper New Member

    I do not believe that is correct. All new airsoft guns are not made of clear plastic.

    One of my sons just bought one brand new last week that is a replica of a Beretta M9A1, and let me tell you, other than the skinny painted on orange tip, you could not distinguish it from the real thing. This thing is CO2 powered, fires 6mm plastic airsoft balls, and is a hard hitter.
  12. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    There is nothing illegal about painting or removing the orange tip.
  13. Galactic

    Galactic New Member

    I live in Lilburn and the local ordinance does not allow discharge of any projectile weapon, be it a firearm, bb gun (which I believe airsoft will fall under), a bow or a slingshot. I am not sure what the penalty would be if it were enforced.

    I have gotten into the airsoft hobby this year and really enjoy the indoor battleground in Buford, SS Airsoft (shameless plug)(shooting teenagers with a fully automatic assault BB rifle is amazing fun). I have put many, many plastic bbs into my back yard and the surrounding woods while sighting in the guns. No trouble with the law so far but I know and get along well with my neighbors. Have not managed to hit a squirrel yet but I think they hear me coming and disappear.

    I just bought an MP-5 from SS that does not have the orange tip on it and is an exact replica to the point it is a bit scary. I also have a Glock 19 pistol with no orange tip and it is damn close to my carry G-19. I am planning to put some orange tape on the flash hider of the MP5 and the slide of the Glock just for my own peace of mind. One of the things I enjoy most is the replica look of the weapons.

    As long as the kids you refer to are playing safely, eye and face protection at least, and not shooting non-participants or local pets I believe it is a great sport. It is amazing how much exercise one can get in an hour of playing. It saddens me to hear how one individual with perhaps a lack of understanding can put a stop to this.

    I would check the local laws and then work to get the HOA to change their tune.

    Good luck,
  14. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    Here's another question about airsoft guns:
    Can a convicted felon possess one?
    It's not a firearm, but does it discharge a projectile with an electrical charge?
    It seems like the way they work is a battery turns an electric motor. The motor compresses a spring. Then the spring is released and the pellet flies out the barrel. So is it an electric powered gun, or not?

    See O.C.G.A. 16-11-131, and this definition of a "firearm" found in that Code section:

    (a) As used in this Code section, the term:

    (1) "Felony" means ...
    (2) "Firearm" includes any ...other weapon which will or can be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge.

    But as Malum has pointed out before, this Code section seems to only concern itself with weapons. Is an airsoft really a weapon? Or is it more like a toy or an item of sports equipment?
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    There is nothing illegal about a minor walking
    through a neighborhood with a fully loaded AK-47 in plain view, a real one, I mean,
    not an airsoft toy, which kind of makes the requirement of a license for a 65 year old
    man to carry a holstered pistol a little silly, doesn't it?

  16. grumpy

    grumpy New Member

    Just do what I'm doing. Shoot through muzzle cover, in red.
  17. niadhf

    niadhf New Member

    some do use abatteries to run springs that pressurize (kinda) the pellet down the barrel (think the Red Rider many of us had, with full auto capability at lower pressure) or even CO2 or Green gass Blowback stile. Still not "firearms" by MOST definitaions, but some states sem to still have the Jury out on the Subject (except apparently NJ)

    Not questioning you EJR, just adding some more info
  18. kwikrnu

    kwikrnu Banned

    I think it may be illegal to ship one after painting or removing the tip.

    Here is a real gun with an orange tip. :righton:

  19. Macktee

    Macktee New Member


    Interesting. I thought there was some law or regulation or something prohibiting just that. I'm not going to do it, but I would like to know more about this. Is there some additional information posted somewhere? Thanks.
  20. kwikrnu

    kwikrnu Banned

    Some States and cities have laws regarding color. Federal law only covers toys which are imported or shipped and states they must have a tip of a certain color and length.