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Is It Illegal to Drive With a BB Gun in Your Car?

By George Khoury, Esq. | Last updated on

Whether or not you can drive with a BB gun in your car will vary from state to state. For the most part, weapons of all types can be transported in a vehicle within a state, subject to certain state law restrictions. Usually, and according to gun safety experts, all firearms should be transported while unloaded and locked in a trunk or an out-of-reach lockbox. Transporting a firearm across state lines can often be a trickier matter.

When it comes to lower powered guns, like BB, pellet, paintball, and airsoft, some states don't even recognize them as firearms. That means they can be transported in the cabin of a car without a legal problem. However, a few states treat these exactly the same way as traditional firearms. Basically, if you are going to own a BB gun, or other non-traditional gun, you need to read up on your state's gun control laws.

While driving around with a loaded BB gun sitting on your passenger seat may technically be legal in some states, doing so is a really bad idea. Often, BB and airsoft guns will look indistinguishable from real guns. If you are pulled over for a routine traffic stop, and a cop sees or learns about you having a gun, simply trying to pull out your driver's license can get you shot and killed.

It bears repeating: All firearms should be transported unloaded and securely locked in the trunk of a vehicle. While there may be some limited exceptions for certain individuals, such as law enforcement officers, or certain concealed carry permit holders, a right to carry or a permit cannot stop a bullet fired by a scared officer. Even if you have concealed carry permit, think twice about whether you actually need to be armed while behind the wheel.

Legally, Why?

If you are considering driving around with a BB gun in your car's passenger compartment, perhaps now would be a good time to take a step back and rethink what you are trying to accomplish. If you're just trying to transport it to target practice and your car doesn't have a trunk, check your state laws. Most likely you can just unload the gun, and put it in a locked box, or minimally, a sealed container.

If you think that brandishing a BB gun, or using one for protection, is a good idea, just stop thinking. If you called a lawyer, they'd probably tell you it's a bad idea. Threatening someone by waving a BB gun around will be considered the same as threatening the person with a real firearm. And if you pull a BB gun on a criminal with a real gun, you may not live to regret it, while the criminal might just have their eye put out. Then again, the same could be said if you pull a real firearm out too.

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