Airguns Protected from State Regulation!

While signing Blue Book of Airgun copies at the recent NRA convention in Reno, I was visited by Evan Nappen, an attorney from New Jersey. He has defended airgun owners from state prosecution by invoking a FEDERAL law that generally is not well known at this time. The most amazing thing about this law, the key points of which were appended to a law which attempts to force special markings on paintball and imitation firearms is that it PRE-EMPTS all state laws concerning the sale of airguns. (This tailgating clause may be thanks to some legal work by the Daisy company!)  This law may be the most important law ever for airgunners and may just amount to giving us more rights than firearm owners who feel that they are protected the Second Amendment! I told Tom Gaylord, editor of the new Airguns Illustrated magazine about it; he became very excited and will give you his views and more details in the Legal Issues section of the second issue of Airguns Illustrated magazine (to which, of course, you surely have already subscribed).

The law is United States Code, Title 15, Section 5001, BB/AIRGUN/PAINTBALL/IMITATION FIREARM PREEMPTION. The sections of interest to us are Sections "g(i) and g(ii)" at the very end. Read their very clear language and leap for joy:

"(g) Preemption of State or local laws or ordinances; exceptions

The provisions of this section shall supersede any provisions of State or local laws or ordinances which provide for markings or identifications inconsistent with provisions of this section provided that no State shall

(i) prohibit the sale or manufacture of any look-alike, non-firing, collector replica of an antique firearms developed prior to 1898, or

(ii) prohibit the sale (other than prohibiting the sale to minors) of traditional B-B, paint ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a projectile through the force of air pressure."

Additional information is available at attorney Nappen's website:

We look forward to many favorable developments as a result of this largely overlooked law which became effective 6 months after November 5, 1988. Mr. Nappen  already has successfully used it in court cases!