If you or someone you know is thinking of purchasing or operating an air gun in the state of Florida, there are a few points of law to keep in mind. While Florida has some of the most permissive laws in the nation governing the use of firearms and other weapons, there are still a few laws in place dictating who may use or possess an air gun and when.
Unlike some other states, Florida does not classify air guns (bb guns and air or gas-operated pellet guns) as firearms or as dangerous weapons. Instead, the state lumps these weapons in with other non-lethal weapons such as stun guns. Given this light classification, it is important to note that the state laws are not so lax for all non-combustion projectile weapons. “Slungshots” or “slingshots” are classified as dangerous weapons right along with brass knuckles and tear gas guns.
Typically, an air gun is classified as a projectile weapon that fires .177 caliber to .22 caliber bbs or pellets by either air, gas or spring pressure.
Under Florida law, it is illegal for any minor under the age of 16 to use an air gun (bbs or pellets) unless they are in direct supervision of an adult who is the child’s parent or guardian, or if the supervising adult is acting with the permission of the child’s parent or guardian. Any adult who allows a child 16 years or younger under their care to operate or possess any air gun without direct supervision is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor and may face fines, jail time or probation.
Under Florida law, no weapons–including air guns–are allowed in public buildings, polling places, bars, certain sporting events not relating to firearms, or in the “sterile areas” of airports. Any individual who willingly violates this law is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor and may face jail time, fines and/or probation.