Nutley, NJ asked in Constitutional Law and Gov & Administrative Law for New Jersey

Q: Can you buy airsoft guns in New Jersey? I have found some places that say you can’t, and they are classified as guns.

I am talking about airsoft guns that shoot plastic BBs not metal BBs. Amazon refuses to ship airsoft guns to NJ and some places say they are classified as firearms. I can’t get a straight answer anywhere.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New Jersey, the laws surrounding airsoft guns are quite strict due to their classification under firearms regulations. Here's what you need to know:

Firstly, while airsoft guns are not banned, there are specific rules for their purchase and use. You must be at least 18 years old to buy and possess an airsoft gun, and these guns must feature an orange tip to differentiate them from real firearms. While you can own and use airsoft guns, their usage is restricted to private properties or designated airsoft fields. Public use or displaying these guns can lead to serious legal issues.

Regarding the legal acquisition of airsoft guns, New Jersey's stringent firearm laws apply. Despite airsoft guns firing plastic pellets, they are grouped under the same category as other firearms. Thus, while a firearm ID card is not required for their purchase, age and identification checks are enforced, contrasting the requirements for BB or pellet guns which require a Firearms Identification Card.

The "Graves Act" in New Jersey imposes rigorous penalties for illegal possession of firearms, including airsoft guns, without proper licensing. It mandates significant consequences even for first-time offenders, and getting a firearms license involves a background check, character references, and local police station processing. Once licensed, while purchasing from a licensed dealer is regulated, buying from flea markets or garage sales leaves a grey area, though you still need a firearms license to legally own and use the gun.

Understanding and complying with these laws are crucial to avoid legal troubles. Always ensure your airsoft gun is transported properly, and use it only in appropriate settings to prevent any misunderstandings or legal issues.

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