BB Gun, Pellet Gun, and Airsoft Gun Charges in Middlesex County NJ
You may assume, albeit incorrectly, that in New Jersey, pellet guns are toys that can be carried and used with no precautions. However, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5, B-B guns are actually considered real firearms. This has created quite a conflict in recent years because air guns and pistols like Airsoft guns have become extremely popular and remain easily accessible. Most of these guns can be purchased over the counter because a firearms identification card is usually not required. These weapons are especially popular with teenagers and young adults because a person need only be 18 years old to buy them.
Our weapons defense attorneys often represent clients against pellet gun charges involving possession of a weapon for unlawful purposes or unlawful possession of a pellet pistol. The Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver represents clients throughout Middlesex County and New Jersey including Piscataway, Plainsboro, Metuchen, Cranbury, North Brunswick, Highland Park, Monroe and Old Bridge. Will Proetta, our law firm’s founder, has successfully defended clients against a wide array of crimes and charges including possession of weapons like BB and pellet guns. To learn more about how we can assist you in fighting these charges, contact our office today at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation with an experienced gun charge defense lawyer.
NJ BB Gun, Air Soft Gun, and Paintball Gun Law
Air Gun Pistol – Under 2C:39-5(b) a pellet pistol is considered a real firearm. As such, New Jersey handgun laws are also applicable to B-B gun pistols. Due to the fact that a spring or elastic action pistol can shoot projectiles that cause injury, and in accordance with 2C:58-4, a person needs a permit to possess, carry or transport an Air Gun just like a regular pistol. However, unlike unlawful possession of a real pistol which is second degree, if you are caught with an air pistol without the proper permits you are guilty of a third degree felony for unlawful possession of a weapon. Even though the charge is lowered to a third degree, the Graves Act still applies because it is a crime involving a gun so the exposure remains at 3 -5 years in prison with up to 3 years being mandatory without parole eligibility under the Graves Act.
Pellet Rifles – A BB rifle is also considered a “firearm” but it does not fall under the definition of a “rifle” in accordance with 2C:39-1(f) because pellet gun rifles do not have a rifled bore. Therefore, you do not need a firearms purchaser ID card to buy, own or possess an air gun rifle. However, possession of an air or pellet rifle for unlawful purposes or under circumstances not manifestly appropriate for lawful use are still serious felonies.
• Possession of a BB rifle for unlawful purposes is a third degree felony under 2C:39-4
• Possession of a BB rifle under circumstances not manifestly appropriate is a third degree felony. (Example – a pellet gun hidden under the driver’s seat of a car would give rise to this inference)
• It should also be noted that mere possession of a BB gun on school grounds is a third degree crime under 2C:39-5(e) because they are considered “firearms”.
Paintball Gun – A paintball gun is not considered a “firearm” under New Jersey law, but it is still considered a “weapon” because it is capable of serious bodily injury under statute 2C:39-1. Therefore, similarly to most other weapons crimes, you will be charged with a fourth degree crime if you are found to be in possession of a paintball gun under circumstances that are not manifestly appropriate for a lawful use. The charge will be upgraded to a more serious third degree felony if you use or intend to use the paintball gun to hurt another person or their property.
Talk with an Edison NJ BB Gun Defense Lawyer Today
It is no secret that New Jersey gun laws are very serious and complicated. Gun laws as applied to BB guns are extremely convoluted. For instance, Federal law 15 U.S.C. 5001 prohibits the state of New Jersey from banning the sale of BB guns. However, it does not prevent New Jersey from classifying pellet guns as actual firearms, nor does it prohibit the state from enacting applicable regulations such as licensing and possession by persons with a criminal record. An experienced gun charges defense lawyer will strive to mitigate your potential exposure to the law by downgrading your charges or getting them dismissed altogether.
For example, our weapons defense attorneys are often successful at working with the prosecutor’s office to waive the Graves Act. This results in the avoidance of mandatory incarceration. It may even allow us to secure our client’s admittance into a Pre-trial Intervention program to ensure no permanent record upon completion. With offices in Edison, we regularly assist clients facing gun possession and weapons charges in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Perth Amboy, and throughout Middlesex County. To learn more about how we can help you with your BB gun, pellet gun, or Airsoft gun charges, contact us today at (732) 659-9600 for a free initial consultation with an experienced BB gun defense attorney.