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O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1 provides in pertinent part that

"Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher.
So, is an air soft gun a "weapon?" It is not a pistol, nor is it a revolver. It is designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, but is it "weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind?" No.

Were I the judge, I would throw that charge out and issue a stern warning to the police and the prosecutor, assuming that is one of the charges once I actually see the article.
 

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The article wants a login. So here is the full text of the article:

Pellet gun lands UGA senior in jail on two felony charges
By Joe Johnson | [email protected] | Story updated at 10:39 PM on Monday, February 19, 2007

A University of Georgia student was arrested on weapons charges early Saturday after a UGA officer patrolling a campus parking lot spotted a recreational pellet gun in the student's car, UGA police said.

Although he technically violated the law, the student's mother said campus police over-reacted and should have issued her son a warning.

"It was all a crazy mistake on (my son's) part, and on their part, it was foolish to even go ahead with the arrest," said Mary McClure, whose son, Douglas, faces two felony counts of possession of a weapon on school property.

"Right now, I'm figuring out how to pay for an attorney and get him off these charges, which is crazy considering my son has never been in trouble before, and he's graduating in two months," Mary McClure said.

The arrest came after the UGA officer was patrolling the railroad lot off Baldwin Street and saw what looked like a gun on the floor of a car, according to UGA police Lt. Lisa Boone. Officers routinely patrol campus parking lots to thwart car break-ins and other crimes.

Officers watched the car, waiting for the owner to return, Boone said, and took McClure into custody at about 1:50 a.m.

The gun actually was an airsoft pistol that shoots plastic pellets, according to Mary McClure, who said a friend gave her son the pistol a couple weeks ago.

"He just tossed it in the car and didn't realize it was there," said Mary McClure, who said her son usually drives a scooter to school from his South Lumpkin Street residence, and used his car the night he was arrested because he went into town for a concert.

When officers searched McClure's car, they found a knife with a 3-inch blade, leading to a second count of possession of a weapon on school grounds
, according to police. Under state law, any weapon "designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind" is a felony crime.

"They pose a danger to the university community," Boone said. "A lot of these airsoft guns look realistic, and they can cause all kinds of problems, like create misunderstanding and put the student and others in danger."

McClure remained in jail until about 4 p.m. Saturday, when he was released on a $3,000 bond, his mother said.

The arrest was not related to an earlier incident in which Athens-Clarke police said two young men pointed a gun at a UGA bus driver on South Milledge Avenue.

But in that case, a blue Ford Mustang occupied by two young men swerved as if to hit a bus that had just dropped off students at Fairfax Hall, police said.

As the bus merged into traffic, one of the men made an obscene gesture and pointed what appeared to be a handgun, according to police.

The car in which McClure's airsoft gun was found was a silver Nissan, Boone said.

Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on 022007
Source cited above.
 

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I wonder if the airsoft pistols has the Federally required one inch orange blaze tip. If it doesn't that could be another charge.

And if it does...shame on those campus cops for lacking critical thinking skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Malum Prohibitum said:
Registration. Mind posting the article?
Sorry, I forgot the Athens newspaper site requires registration or I would've posted the contents. I use the Bugmenot firefox browser plugin that autofills in login info on sites for me so I don't have to register for these trash logins so I forget about them.
 

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Pellet gun lands UGA senior in jail on two felony charges
By Joe Johnson | [email protected] | Story updated at 10:39 PM on Monday, February 19, 2007

. . .
Although he technically violated the law, the student's mother said . . .
I am not so sure the mother is correct for the first charge.

. . . the UGA officer was patrolling the railroad lot off Baldwin Street and saw what looked like a gun on the floor of a car,
But of course it was not. :|

The gun actually was an airsoft pistol that shoots plastic pellets, according to Mary McClure, who said a friend gave her son the pistol a couple weeks ago.
See? :D

When officers searched McClure's car, they found a knife with a 3-inch blade, leading to a second count of possession of a weapon on school grounds
:shock: Not the dreaded, deadly three inch teacher assassination tool! :shock:

O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1 in pertinent part: " . . . any other knife having a blade of two or more inches . . ."

Under state law, any weapon "designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind" is a felony crime.
So, back to my original question. Is an Air Soft toy a "weapon," which is the very first word in the definition? The article does not have weapon in quotes, but I quoted it above, and the word is there. So, is this toy a "weapon?"

NO!

"They pose a danger to the university community," Boone said. "A lot of these airsoft guns look realistic, and they can cause all kinds of problems, like create misunderstanding and put the student and others in danger."
What? I bet Boone wet herself in fear when he heard that an Air Soft toy had been discovered in an unattended car. I am more than a little disgusted that a real, live "police officer" would make such an asinine statement.

And to what "misunderstandings" does she refer? Is this another veiled threat to gun owners by the police, like the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police? Is Ms. Lt. Boone stating that I would be in danger if I had my gun while dropping off a student (which is perfectly legal under state law, Ms. Lt. Boone!)?

McClure remained in jail until about 4 p.m. Saturday, when he was released on a $3,000 bond, his mother said.
What? They let this dangerous menace loose out on the streets to endanger all of us again by leaving a toy gun in a car? He might strike again at any moment! :shock:
 

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ok. Devil's advocate.
Why isn't an Air Pistol a pistol?
I agree that this is not a weapon (just like a straw in a 7 year olds hands is an object intended to propel a missle albeit a missle of soggy paper) but what is the proper legal definition of a pistol or revolver and why wouldn't a soft pellet air gun be considered one of them?
 

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Handgun:
... that the term pistol or revolver shall not include a gun which discharges shot of .46 centimeters or less in diameter (i.e. a .177 Cal BB and/or pellet gun). (16-11-132)
Firearm:
... or other weapon which will or can be converted to shoot or expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or electrical charge. (16-11-133)
Most airsofts are spring and air powered (small single shot ones usually are, I don't know about the battery driven full auto ones). They typically propel a plastic projectile the same size as a bb.

From what I can tell they are neither handguns or firearms.
 

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And there we go.
So it's pretty obvious that this guy was about as guilty of what they are accusing him of as someone with that straw & soggy wad would be.

I hope the guys's mom gets a good attny.



And if I've not said it before. This site rocks!
 

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So if it is not technically a weapon and they detained him anyways...could he sue for unlawful imprisonment?
 

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Rammstein said:
So if it is not technically a weapon and they detained him anyways...could he sue for unlawful imprisonment?
If it was on campus and that school has a policy about student cars parked on school grounds and the ability to search them, I doubt it.

I also doubt that the knife will be thrown out even if the airsoft is. If the entry of the car to figure out if the firearm was real or fake is found legal, then so will be a further check of the rest of the car which found the knife.
 

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I'd love to see the 3" blade law be enforced here at Southern.

I estimate that 3/4th of the male population had a folding knife in their pocket.

So, I dare them to try to lock all of those people up.
 

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Two Inches

Ram, it's the TWO-INCH blade law. And I don't think that is limited to just the sharpened section of the blade. From the tippy-tip right to the beginning of the handle, that's all considered "blade."

Now in my opinion a thug who attacks somebody with a two-inch blade knife has two problems. First, the victim may stomp their butt. Second, campus police could still drop the perp with a .40 to the chest, since any knife attack is a per se deadly assault. Even if two-inch knives are not considered particularly good weapons, being better classified as utility tools.

BIGGER ISSUE: Why do we let these dimwits in the legislatue pass such laws? Sometimes you can blame school officials for not understanding the law, but here the law is clear. An Airsoft pistol is a pistol. It is not a firearm, but then the law doesn't use the term firearm. Even if it were not a "weapon," it is still a pistol. Handguns that are firearms are "per se" classified as deadly weapons, as are any and all other firearms, even purely sporting ones.

If a single-shot .22 target rifle with a 26" bull barrel and a 9-pound empty weight is legally considered a "weapon" despite the fact that it is designed, marketed, and only sold for the sport of target shooting, then I think a BB gun or AirSoft gun or paintball gun could be called a "weapon" too.

FIXING THE PROBLEM: The legislature should go back and change the law to authorize schools to come up with ADMINISTRATIVE RULES regarding "weapons," the violation of which can not exceed removal from the school. Then the leglislature can make it a "misdemeanor" to possess a dangerous tool, knife, or other non-weapon instrument that is nonetheless likely to cause a serious bodily injury when used offensively against a person. Possession of a firearm, a weapon (designed and marketed to be used as such), a bomb (a real one, not a firecracker or bottle rocket) or possession of any non-weapon dangerous instrument WITH INTENT TO USE SAME AS A WEAPON could remain a felony.
 

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Re: Two Inches

gunsmoker said:
Ram, it's the TWO-INCH blade law. And I don't think that is limited to just the sharpened section of the blade. From the tippy-tip right to the beginning of the handle, that's all considered "blade."
:?

I don't have a knife. I have a flat sided tool that comes to a point and just happens to be worn down on one side.

Ah hell. I have a knife, and I defy them to do something about it. But, having three quarters of the school's male population charged with felony weapons possesion may bring them unwanted attention. 8)
 

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I hope he does get a good lawyer.

Here is the exact law on schools...
(2) "Weapon" means and includes any pistol, revolver, or any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind, or any dirk, bowie knife, switchblade knife, ballistic knife, any other knife having a blade of two or more inches, straight-edge razor, razor blade, spring stick, metal knucks, blackjack, any bat, club, or other bludgeon-type weapon, or any flailing instrument consisting of two or more rigid parts connected in such a manner as to allow them to swing freely, which may be known as a nun chahka, nun chuck, nunchaku, shuriken, or fighting chain, or any disc, of whatever configuration, having at least two points or pointed blades which is designed to be thrown or propelled and which may be known as a throwing star or oriental dart, or any weapon of like kind, and any stun gun or taser as defined in subsection (a) of Code Section 16-11-106. This paragraph excludes any of these instruments used for classroom work authorized by the teacher.
An airsoft is not a pistol or revolver, nor a firearm.
The question boils down to if it is a "weapon" which is defined in part as "any weapon designed or intended to propel a missile of any kind".

Anyone else see a problem with defining "weapon" by using "weapon" several times? I know I used to get bad grades when I defined a term by using it in the definition. Now I know I could have been a lawmaker.

If they say an airsoft is a weapon, then so too must straws with paper near by.
 

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Re: Two Inches

gunsmoker said:
If a single-shot .22 target rifle with a 26" bull barrel and a 9-pound empty weight is legally considered a "weapon" despite the fact that it is designed, marketed, and only sold for the sport of target shooting, then I think a BB gun or AirSoft gun or paintball gun could be called a "weapon" too.
That is some of the worst reasoning I have ever seen posted here. If I shoot you in the temple at a hundred yards with the first example, what will happen? If I aim for your temple at 100 yards with the last example, an "Airsoft" toy, what will happen? Even up close? Come on, Gunsmoker! :roll:

It is a toy, not a weapon.

gunsmoker said:
FIXING THE PROBLEM: The legislature should go back and change the law to authorize schools to come up with ADMINISTRATIVE RULES regarding "weapons," the violation of which can not exceed removal from the school. Then the leglislature can make it a "misdemeanor" to possess a dangerous tool, knife, or other non-weapon instrument that is nonetheless likely to cause a serious bodily injury when used offensively against a person. Possession of a firearm, a weapon (designed and marketed to be used as such), a bomb (a real one, not a firecracker or bottle rocket) or possession of any non-weapon dangerous instrument WITH INTENT TO USE SAME AS A WEAPON could remain a felony.
I have a better idea. Repeal O.C.G.A. 16-11-127.1. If that proves politically unworkable, then at least pare it down to a retriction on public K-12 only.

8)
 

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If airsoft and paintball guns are weapons then why arnt the cops busting up paintball tournements to enforce the laws against dueling? :lol:
 

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OMG! When I go to pick up my child at school in my work vehicle, I will have my tools with me (I am a contractor), so in the area of "designed to propel a missile" I have four air nailers and a powder fired ramset nailer (.22 long); at least half a dozen "discs with two or more sharpened points" that I call circular saw blades; and I can't begin to count the number of sharpened blades over two inches long (hand saws of different types); and I bet the 2x4's in the back could work really well as a "bludgeon". Add to that the fact that I drive a van, so none of that can be locked up (other than by the door locks of course), and I guess that the .45 pistol and four inch pocket knife I carry do not look so bad, huh??

Seriously, I have four relatives in Law Enforcement (retired and active). They all maintain that the law here was made intentionly vague so that LEO could use it as a way to look for other things on a stop.
 

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Well, that nail gun probably is not designed or intended to be a "Weapon."

:D

In addition, if you have a GFL, you can have a loaded gun on your belt in the limited circumstance you describe of picking up your kids. Just do not go inside the building if it is a public indoctrination center, er, school, out of an abundance of caution due to a different law, the public gathering provision.
 
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