Using a BB gun

Old Apr 14th 2022, 3:04 pm
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Default Using a BB gun

What are the rules for a using a low power BB gun in your garden? Target shooting for instance? Or shooting pigeons?
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Old Apr 14th 2022, 5:36 pm
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Don't even think about it. The penalties are severe. 20 years for unlawful killing. More if aggravated by intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
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Old Apr 14th 2022, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Originally Posted by Cirio View Post
What are the rules for a using a low power BB gun in your garden? Target shooting for instance? Or shooting pigeons?
Many people get highly emotive when the word g-u-n is used, and generally for the right reason, especially when unlawfully used or handled in a dangerous fashion. However rather than saying "Don't even think about it", allow me to answer your queries in a factual manner, assuming your term 'BB' is referring to an airsoft replica.
No, airsoft (often termed 'softair') replicas cannot be used for shooting pigeons or any other wild or domestic creature.
Yes, airsoft can be used for target shooting. The discipline is accessible to everyone but is nevertheless highly regulated. There is no age requirement to play airsoft but legislation is in place categorizing the use of airsoft replicas according to 2 profiles i.e. for minors and adults.
All BB replicas are low power, most frequently 0.08 Joule, but not exceeding 2 Joules. This measure of energy expressed in Joules is indicated on each replica, and all manufacturers must also indicate this on all packaging and accompanying instructions.
French law classifies these replicas in Category D, which legally allows their possesion to be free, meaning it does not require any permit or authorization from a minor or adult. This category D is often misunderstood, and is the power rating of airsoft, but basically a minor can play airsoft but only on condition that the replica they use has an energy of less than or equal to 0.08 Joule. This applies as much for an 8 year old as for a 17 year old teenager. It also takes into account any use of the airsoft, whether for recreational shooting at home or for practise with friends or in recognised associations and teams.
An adult however can use a replica of their choice if it doesn't exceed 2 Joules (1.47ft/lb) = 464 fps with 0.2g bb's.
To the best of my knowledge (as a licensed firearm holder and club shooter for over 20 years) there has never been a fatal accident or serious accident in France caused by softair. I do however recall one softair accident where a finger was broken when the ring-finger caught in the trigger guard.
It's important to emphasize that the practice of airsoft for minors must be carefully supervised in order that they become familiar with all the basic rules surrounding legislation and especially safety. Landowners permission is required for use outside of an association. Also that an airsoft replica must never be carried in a public place without a covering case.
For any parent with a child showing an interest in softair, I highly recommend that you find a local club for them to join.

Last edited by Tweedpipe; Apr 14th 2022 at 9:55 pm. Reason: and
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Old Apr 14th 2022, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Originally Posted by Helen1964 View Post
Don't even think about it. The penalties are severe. 20 years for unlawful killing. More if aggravated by intention to cause grievous bodily harm.
Maybe you should confine yourself to answering questions that you actually understand?
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Old Apr 15th 2022, 4:59 am
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Maybe you should confine yourself to answering questions that you actually understand?
Maybe you should get a sense of humour. And maybe Cirio should get a cat.
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Old Apr 15th 2022, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Originally Posted by Cirio View Post
What are the rules for a using a low power BB gun in your garden? Target shooting for instance? Or shooting pigeons?
However big your garden is, have you got neighbours within range/hearing, likely to complain the minute you start this activity?
Take on board what tp has said, he's expert in the matter.....
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Old Apr 15th 2022, 9:29 am
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

Thanks for your help
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Old Apr 15th 2022, 9:55 am
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Default Re: Using a BB gun

In my above post I stated, "This category D is often misunderstood, and is the power rating of airsoft".
To avoid any ambiguity I should have stated, "........and covers the power rating of airsoft".
This is because Category D also covers air pistols and revolvers whether compressed air or CO2 powered, which following the changes made by Sept 2013 legislation considers these as not particularly dangerous as their power should always be less than 20 Joules.
Their caliber is always between 4.4 and 5.5mm (far more commonly known to us as .177 or .22). NOTE: The latter caliber should not be confused with .22LR which requires a firearm permit. Although 20 Joules is not considered 'high power' per se, the handling of air weapons require more vilgilance than airsoft. Their purchase and also accessories, i.e.pellets etc can only be made by adults.
In my humble experience one gets far more pleasure and many more benefits by joining an air gun club where one generally practises in a purpose-built indoor facility with very professional coaches always on hand until one reaches a satisfactory safety standard.

Being a member of a club is also a lot safer and neighbour-friendly than blatting away outside in the garden - where to meet the legal requirements one must ensure that any projectile doesn't stray outside of your mini-range. In my opinion, the average membership fee for using a supervised indoor range is well worth it, and leads to many teenagers - both girls & boys taking part in local and national tournements and ultimately training for the Olympics. On reaching high club shooting levels, a word of advise: some of the competition pistols - Walther and Morini just to name a few can run to several thousand euros/dollars!
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