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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 200 Years Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors

Possession of a BB, Pellet or Airsoft Gun

Elizabeth NJ Illegal Weapon Attorney

It may be a shock to learn that someone under eighteen (18) cannot purchase or possess an air or spring gun that fires a BB or pellet except where limited exceptions apply. An adult is also barred from possession under most circumstances. The linchpin of these regulations is the fact that New Jersey Criminal Code treats BB and pellet guns as firearms. If you or your child was caught in possession of a handgun or rifle that fires a BB or pellet, they are exposed to a criminal offense that may include possession of a firearm by a minor, unlawful possession of a firearm without a permit, and possibly even possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose if the intent was to use the gun illegally. 

The lawyers at the Union NJ Office of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are seasoned defenders who have been representing clients with success in Union County for decades. Several members of our defense team are former prosecutors who have handled countless juvenile and adult criminal charges. To speak to an attorney on our staff about the offense that was filed in Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, Berkeley Heights, Plainfield or elsewhere, call our firm at 908-272-1700. Initial consultations with our attorneys are free of charge so do not hesitate to contact us.

Possession of a BB Gun or Pellet Gun in Union County

Possession of a paintball, airsoft, BB or pellet gun has the potential to get very complicated. The primary reason is because New Jersey Law defines “firearm” to include an air gun, spring gun, pistol or other weapon which uses a spring, elastic band, or some form of air/vapor compression. The following are some of the more important aspects of a case involving illegal possession of a device of this nature.

Possession of an Airsoft, Pellet, BB, or Paint Ball Handgun Without a Permit

Unless an individual has a permit/license to carry, it is illegal to possess a handgun in any form under N.J.S.A. 2c:39-5. You might be surprised but a pistol or similar device that uses air, gas or a spring to propel an object, qualifies as a handgun under 2C:39-5. The only difference in terms of illegal possession is that unlawful possession of this type of handgun only results in a third degree crime as compared to a second degree crime.

Possession of a Rifle or Shotgun That Shoots a Pellet, BB or Similar Projectile

When the device is in the form of a rifle or shotgun that is powered by a spring or air, a purchaser identification card must be held by the possessor in accordance with N.J.S.2C:58-3. Possession of a BB/Pellet rifle or shotgun without first securing a firearm’s purchaser ID results in a crime of the third degree.

Cases Involving a Minor

If the individual who is in possession of the firearm is a minor, the prosecutor has the option of prosecuting the case for possession of a firearm by a minor pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:58-6.1 or for possession of firearms without a permit under N.J.S.A. 2C:39-5. It is not illegal, however, for someone under eighteen (18) years of age to possess a firearm if: (1) it is in the presence or under the supervision a parent, guardian or someone who holds the appropriate permit/license; (2) during drills of a recognized military organization; (3) at a target competition or licensed firing range; or (4) it is while hunting in accordance with a properly issued hunting license issued after completion of the appropriate safety course.

The Graves Act

The Graves Act was recently amended to eliminate certain infractions. If a rifle, shotgun, handgun or pistol propels an object smaller than three-eights of an inch in diameter by air or spring, it is now excluded from the Graves Act. There is no minimum sentence or parole ineligibility that attaches for illegal possession of these types of weapons.

Union NJ BB & Pellet Gun Possession Lawyers

Given that we have handled so many BB, airsoft and pellet gun cases, we understand how confused you may be about the charge you are facing. It would seem illogical for you to be exposed to a criminal offense, let alone a felony, for possessing something that is available for purchase without a license or really any formal documentation. Unfortunately, this is the law so you need to secure proper representation from an attorney who knows how protect your interests. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are battle tested former prosecutors and other skilled advocates who have successfully represented numerous individuals charged as a juvenile, as well as an adult, with unlawful possession of an air gun or spring gun that fires a BB or Pellet. We defend this offense throughout Union County, including Scotch Plains, Summit, Rahway, Springfield and Mountainside. To speak to one of our attorneys immediately, call 908-272-1700 for a free consultation.