Is a Potato Gun Legal

How to Enjoy your Potato Gun while Avoiding Jail…

Potato gunning is the gift that keeps on giving. Once the gun is built, tuned, and perfected, it’s ready for years of trouble free use blowing stuff up and launching spuds into orbit. But just like a certain popular science fiction series….there is a Dark Side….and the force is strong with that side. Don’t take the bait!

Spud Cannons – A very Fine Line

Your potato gun is remarkably similar in design to the black powder cannons of old, only less powerful. Still, if General Custer had a dozen of your potato guns handy back in the day, he probably would have stuffed them with shrapnel and used them for a devastating close range attack. Are they really that powerful? Depending on the design and propellant, they absolutely could be.

What would make it Illegal?

Well for starters, it depends on where you live. In the United States, it varies by state, county, and jurisdiction, but the bulk of the country says spud guns, both pneumatic and combustion, are legal – as long as they aren’t used for nefarious purposes. If you use your spud gun to shoot someone, expect to face firearms charges no matter where you live. In some states, like California, combustion spud guns, and ball launchers are illegal, period, end.

Okay, What else would make it Illagal?

So your local laws say its okay to use and posses. And you don’t plan on robbing a bank with your potato gun. What else would make it illegal? A couple of things, first of which is what kind of ammunition you plan on firing. Using iron cannon balls, shrapnel, or even rocks could potentially slide you over the line into “I-am-going-to-jailville”. In the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms is pretty clear on what they consider cool, and what is not so cool:

So what`s the delio on potato Cannons and Ball Launchers?

If you use your potato gun for recreational purposes, loaded with harmless ammunition, you’re probably okay. As soon as it becomes a weapon loaded with dangerous ammunition, you’re….not okay. So resist the dark side at all costs, young Skywalker!

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