In some states, there are age requirements for owning a paintball gun.
Paintball is played by millions of people in many countries throughout the world. The popular pastime usually involves two teams of several players whose objective is to capture the other team’s flag while protecting their own. Along the way, opponents are eliminated by being shot by paintballs–gelatin capsules filled with colored “paint” and usually shot out of a special airgun called a marker or paintgun. Depending on where you live, there may be age requirements for owning a paintball gun.
13 And Under
In Illinois, paintball guns are considered air rifles and are subject to the same restrictions. Dealers are not permitted to “sell, lend, rent, give or otherwise transfer” the guns to anyone under the age of 13. Also, anyone under 13 is prohibited from carrying a loaded paintball gun on public land or public streets. If an air rifle, including a paintball gun, is used or sold in violation of the age requirement, law enforcement officials can confiscate it at the owner’s expense. In addition, a dealer who sells an air rifle to a minor under age 13 may be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.
18 And Under
New Hampshire and Rhode Island have similar age requirements to Illinois, but in those states, the laws apply to anyone under the age of 18. Both states require the written consent of a parent or guardian before allowing anyone under 18 to own a paintball gun and New Hampshire also allows schools to expel students for possessing them. There, someone under 18 can be in possession of a paintball gun only when supervised by a parent or guardian or on the way to or from a paintball range supervised by a responsible adult. In Rhode Island, violation of the law can draw fines between $1,000 and $3,000.
Age requirements for playing paintball and owning paintball guns do not apply only in the U.S. Several other countries have regulated the fast-growing pastime. In Australia, for example, age requirements vary depending on the state. Players must be 18 or older in Victoria, while New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory require players to be at least 16. In Queensland, the minimum age is 15, and in South Australia and West Australia, the minimum age is 12. In Germany, paintball is illegal for anyone under the age of 18. It is best to check into local laws before buying a paintball gun in any state or country.