Saturday, October 21

Is It Legal To Shoot My BB Gun In My Back Yard In Jacksonville?

I took my son to a Cub Scouts New Cub Shooting Sports event because he was a new Cub Scout to the area. I'll post more about that in another article, and maybe I'll save you some heartache. The experience got me to wondering if I could set up a target in my back yard rather than waiting for an hour and fifteen minutes to shoot five arrows and a few BBs. However, even after doing some research, I'm still not sure whether or not BB guns are legal in JAX.

I did find out that BB guns are not considered deadly weapons in Florida, unless you use the gun in a robbery (pretending it's real). Assuming my intent is to shoot holes in a can in the yard, it should not be seen as deadly, even in a state that changes these sorts of rules willy nilly. As a side note, brass knuckles are considered more dangerous than BB guns, and they are classified as such.

Anyhow, I've got a 30 year-old BB gun that can barely push a tiny metal ball about as fast as I can throw it. There's no malicious intent, and I don't plan on shooting any critters. I know it was still illegal to shoot the thing when I was in Milwaukee, even though I did shoot it as a teenager in my back yard. My dad even used it to hunt chipmunks.

But we had wooded lots back then. Now we live on a pond with neighbors all around to see whatever we do. No naked sunbathing and no breaking of firearm ordinances, if they exist. I'm just not sure. I found some forum posts that say that as long as the BBs don't travel into the neighbors' yards, I'm cool. Since I technically own about 30 feet of pond, I wonder if that means I can shoot into the water, as well.

The problem isn't the actual letter of the law, really. I don't want to be booked into custody and have to call a lawyer in order to get out of some kind of ticket. I guess I'd need to know that either no one will call the police or that the police will actually ignore any calls.

If you are a Duval Sheriff, feel free to contact me on this one. I found that the state made all local governments use only the state law when it comes to firearms several years ago. However, since it seems BB guns are not considered firearms (or at least deadly weapons), then I'd assume it's either up to each community to regulate air guns.

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