Legal Issues

BB Gun Possession Could Come with Prison Sentence

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun

Little Timmy Moore, you are hereby convicted to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine for the possession of a Daisy Red Ryder BB gun. That is what some people could hear from a New Jersey judge if a new piece of legislation passes at 2:00 p.m. June 7, 2012. With the passing of A1216, possession of all BB guns and air guns on school property would carry 7-10 year prison sentences with no possibility of leniency. Parents picking up their children at school after hunting or going to the range would also be at risk.

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun
Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun

The legislation aims to increase the penalty for possession of a firearm on school grounds, or any educational institution from a third to second degree crime. Typically, second-degree crimes carry a prison sentence of 7-10 years and up to a $150,000 fine, with very limited sentencing discretion from the judge. In New Jersey, law enforcement considers BB guns and air rifles legally firearms. Many consider them toys in other parts of the country.

If your child accidentally forgets to take his BB gun out of his backpack on his way to school, his or her future could be in serious jeopardy. If a police officer pulls you over on school property, and you have an unloaded BB gun properly stored in your vehicle, you could face a decade in prison.

This insane piece of legislation would also ensure that New Jersey schools would become unarmed, target rich environments. If A1216 passes, faculty and staff who legally arm themselves on their way to work could face incarceration. This would further hinder their right to self-protection and hinder their ability to protect others. To some, this appears to be another small step toward a pacified and disarmed society. With legislation such as this, it may eventually become so difficult to legally purchase and carry a firearm, that only the criminals will be the armed citizens.


The Committee passed this unnecessary legislation by a 7 to 4 party-line vote. It is now a second-degree crime to carry a weapon on school property in New Jersey, even if you are a lawfully licensed concealed handgun permit carrier. Second-degree crimes carry a prison sentence of five to ten years and/or a fine up to $150,000, with no opportunity for New Jersey’s pre-trial intervention leniency program, and very limited sentencing discretion by the judge.

Assemblyman Linda Stender (D-22) attempted to address some gun owner concerns by offering last minute amendments to exempt possession of BB guns and air guns from the Draconian penalties in A1216. However, lawmakers offered no protections to holders of firearms identification cards or hunting licenses who remain at risk of lengthy prison sentences for innocent mistakes under this ill-conceived legislation.

Firearms possession for an unlawful purpose is already a second-degree crime in New Jersey, so this legislation adds nothing except excessive punishment for innocent mistakes.

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Comments (31)

  1. I live in NJ because I have no choice. The state politicians who enacted these insane laws were elected FOR OTHER REASONS, such as their pro-union promises. The thinking is that the strict gun laws were passed in an attempt to control gang activity, which has increased alarmingly. Of course the gang members are not going to go through the proper channels to obtain their weapons, so the laws help no one. But it’s faulty logic to say that we elected these people and we’re getting what we deserve.

  2. Police Officers are exempt from HR 218. So only Police Officers & Criminals will have arms, fitting isn’t it? Welcome to NJ Police State! What’s next? Police kicking your door in for your Sons Red Ryder & Sling Shot then demanding your papers? Fricken Morons

  3. This insane law is on Obama’s and the Democrat’s wishlist for all of America! Four more years of Obama and the majority of law abiding gun owners will be criminals.

  4. What about HR 218?
    How are out of state police officers affected by this idiotic legislation?
    Anyone know?


  6. Wow. We had guns in our vehicles at my school if for whatever specific hunting season. BTW I graduated in 09 and I wouldn’t be surprised if students still do it. If people don’t take advantage of the 2nd amendment we could lose it with the fool we have in office. Obama is selling this country out.

  7. When I was in highschool, we actually had an indoor rifle range! I was in ROTC and on the State Rifle Team and we refined our skills AT SCHOOL. I’m sure by now, that range has long since been turned into a storage area! The only reason for the gun grabs going on in NJ and elsewhere, is the gubbment is starting to fear the people – that’s the way it should be! Tyrrany demands a helpless society – but guess what – gun growth has climbed steadily for 22 months straight (NSSF) and female ownership is up 23% from the previous year. Did you know that in NYC, it’s illegal to have a gun that has been refinished with DuraCoat? Politicians are – simpley put – criminals! We need to fire them all, go back to States Rights and turn their whole nanny-state on its ear! Are you registered to vote? The east coast (and the west coast) need to drop into the ocean and take the UN with them! King Obama needs to go home to Kenya!

  8. Well, look at it this way. If the people from New Jersey allow it what can we say? I can hardly wait till one of them are castrated by this new law. Try this crap in our State Mr.& Mrs. Butt-Hole Liberal. Boycott anything & everything that comes from N.J. !!

  9. Nice interview from both sides and enlightening. I am in Texas an not New Jersey. It has been my experience that in the simplest of cases (i.e not wearing a seat belt, etc) to actually admit to the cop when he pulled me over that I put it on only after I passed and saw him, he seemed relieved and appreciative of the fact that I told him the truth in which he let me go. I know private detectives, cops, etc that have well informed me that they deal with almost total lies every day. In the case that someone is guilty of such minor offences, I have seen that they are almost caught-off-guard by simple truth, and they see it, appreciate it and reward simple truth. I think some of you lawyers are basically greedy and need the business as you are a primary bottom-feeders of the guilty. The guilty may need to go to prison and not be set free by your whiz-bang, big-shot court room antics. It seems to me that in the courts it is not right vs wrong – it is just win vs lose.

  10. If you find yourself in possession of any of these “illegal”(what a crock of $h!t) devices on school grounds intentionally or accidentally, keep it out of sight and keep your mouth shut ESPECIALLY TO ANYONE IN AUTHORITY. Remember you don’t have to admit ANYTHING to ANYONE. Know the constitution has it right and the video is excellent. Everyone should watch it.

  11. I grew up in NJ moved away thirty three years now. I have only one word why I would never move back or recommend anyone move there. Insanity!
    New Jersey is an insult to any freedom loving American citizen for every reason there is. It could literally break away and float into the abyss and the country would be all the better for it. Oh while Jersey is floating away I will hook up IL, CA and NY. Truth is there is absolutely not a thing I would miss from all the missing liberals we would happily loose.

  12. I have not lived in NT for over 25 years, however: when I lived there you needed to get a pistol purchase permit to buy a handgun and this included bb/pellet pistol.Is this still the case up there??

  13. Please send all of these comments to the NJ legislature, the majority of which seem to exhibit poor judgement.

  14. What’s hilarious is that many places in south jersey consider them as toys as well… it’s like another state compared to north jersey. I’ve seen flee markets sell airsoft pistols with the state police barracks about a mile down the road. No one cares.

  15. this is just another step in our government both local and federal to make the 2nd amendment disappear. so many people would look at this as one more step to being safer. safety in this country is rapidly becoming the complete loss of freedom. if we the american people let laws like this come into effect we lose a piece of our freedom. where i went to school which was a small country town during different hunting seasons there would be a few hundred firearms in vehicles in the parking lot why most of the staff and students were hunters paintball markers could be found in many student vehicles and some of the gym lockers why alot of us played paintball on a regular basis sometimes in the woods behind the school we even had a class that had students do a presentation on their hobbies and paintball markers would be brought in and safety and maintenance would be the main part of the presentation we were a very pro gun community with a very low crime rate and we haven’t had to have police come to the school except for the dare program and still do not have metal detectors or bag searches so for the arguement that alot of people have that guns cause problems my high school if proof of how wrong they are

  16. City of Scranton, Pa. has had a similar law as long as I can remember. No BB Guns, Pellet Guns, BB’s,Pellets, Co2 Cylinders and have added Paintball Equipment to the list of things that can’t be Sold, Bought or Possessed within City Limits. I can have any Real Firearm I want, except what we would usually use to train our kids in the beginning… Go Figure

  17. I would have been arrested as a kid because we used to take our bb guns up to the school grounds after school & on weekends to plink around quite often! we never shot anyone or had ill intent, just kids playing around!

  18. Seems to me like the legislators are the ones who are “possessed.”
    Bet if you asked ATF to enforce a country-wide firearms registration or pistol confiscation scheme, they’d even turn it down.
    Like Japanese commander Tojo said of trying to invade the US during WWII-
    I wouldnt do that–there’s a gun behind every blade of grass.
    All 350 million of them.

  19. Fishing and archery organizations need to start competitive programs asap in the schools as they already have in my part of the country. Of course, the same lame brained crowd would rail against them. Yea. Possessing the smallest fishing knife or a pair of pliers or a bow would be a felony to them.
    Mayor Bum berg of NYC, why dont you and your ilk rent a LARGE SHIP, go pick up these people over in Jersey, and take about a 40 year one way cruise to Libya or Syria.

  20. It’s obvious that Draconian law is alive and growing in Jersey.
    They’d probably consider an asthmathic student (or a teacher ) who lets another use his bronchodilator to ward off a very serious asthma attack, a drug dealer.
    I guess in Jersey, Good Samaritans are endangered too.
    KILL this stupid bill before it multiplies like a virus.

  21. FFreaking dammed idiots.
    Stupid Jersey-ite legislature.
    Who In the Sam Hill would ever dream up such crock?
    Doesnt NJ have an ROTC program in any high school?

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