Air soft guns are legal in Illinois but their use is regulated.
Airsoft guns can be used in a variety of scenarios. Some use them in games similar to paint ball. Others just collect them because of their resemblance to real-world weaponry. Air soft guns are also used as costume accessories. In Illinois, the use of air soft guns is regulated by 720 Illinois Compiled Statute 535 or the Air Rifle Act. Individual cities may have additional laws preventing the use of airsoft guns.
Defining the weapon
According to the Illinois Air Rifle Act, an air rifle is “any air gun, air pistol, spring gun, spring pistol, B-B gun, paint ball gun, pellet gun or any implement that is not a firearm which impels a breakable paint ball containing washable marking colors or, a pellet constructed of hard plastic, steel, lead, or other hard materials…expected to cause bodily harm.”
The Air Rifle Act makes it illegal to sell, give or rent an air rifle to anyone under the age of 13. The only exception is if a parent or guardian is the one giving the minor the air rifle. It is illegal for anyone under 13 to carry a loaded air rifle on public property, including streets, roads or highways. A minor under 13 may possess an air rifle if it is kept within his home, used for a group or club for educational purposes, or if it is used on private grounds in a manner that does not endanger anyone.
Additional City Regulations
According to the Legal Community Against Violence, Deerfield, Illinois, does not permit possession of air guns. Elk Grove bans the sale of “handgun styled” B-B or pellet guns. Elk Grove, as well as Lombard, Niles, and Streamwood require anyone to be 18 years old to purchase or possess an air gun. River Forest requires persons be 21 or older. In Chicago, individuals 18 and older purchasing air rifles must obtain a “permit to purchase” from the Superintendent of Police. Stores selling air rifles may not “display air rifles or air guns in show cases, show windows, or on counters, and may not display any signs suggesting they are for sale.”
According to § 5001 Penalties for entering into commerce of imitation firearms, it is illegal to make, sell, or transport any toy resembling a real firearm unless it contains a specific marking. This marking, according to the law, is a blaze orange coloring on the barrel of the toy. Removal of this coloring is illegal under federal law. The blaze orange helps law enforcement and other individuals identify the product as a toy, removal can be dangerous as the gun could be mistaken for a real weapon.