Does owning a paintball gun require a license.

paintball markers

Does owning a paintball gun require a license.

This depends on how the state where you live in or will be playing paintball treats paintball guns. California does not require paintball gun owners to have a license.

In some states like New Jersey and New York, where a paintball gun is considered to be a weapon, you are required to have a permit or license. In general, those states that consider a paintball gun as a weapon will most likely require you to have a license before owning one.

Depending on the state where you’ll use a paintball gun, you might have to pass other requirements other than an ID. Some states will need you to pass a firearms safety course and submit the certificate of completion.

Currently, there are no existing laws in the United States that prohibit the possession of a paintball marker by a legal adult. They are generally considered to be a type of air gun, such as a BB, so air gun laws apply rather than firearm regulations.

Types of Paintball Guns.

Paintball guns are firearms that operate using compressed air to propel paintballs, or markers, through the gun's barrel. The balls consist of colorful dyes in gelatin capsules. They have an air tank that differentiates them from other guns, but they can look like real firearms from a distance.

There are two types of paintball guns. The first kind is the electro-pneumatically operated paintball gun, which does not have mechanical parts, and the second is the mechanical paintball gun, which has several different subgroups:

  • Pump or bolt action guns that need resetting between shots.
  • Double-action guns with a trigger that fires and resets the gun's mechanism.
  • Semi-automatic guns that contain valve-released gases to reset the firing mechanism.
  • Blow forward semi-automatic guns with valve gases that control the firing mechanism.
  • Pneumatically operated semi-automatic guns that have a valve-regulated, low-pressure pneumatic piston linked to the gun's trigger and firing mechanism.

Imitation Firearms in California

A paintball gun is an imitation firearm. This definition also includes objects such as BB guns, toy guns, firearm replicas or any other devices that someone could reasonably believe was a gun or that expels projectiles through the force of carbon dioxide air pressure or spring action.

California state law bans altering, changing or otherwise removing colors or markings on an imitation firearm or device to make it look more like a real gun. Imitation firearms manufactured after July 1st, 2005, must have a visible warning advisory on their packaging at the time of sale that says:

  • Law enforcement officers or others may mistake the imitation firearm for a real gun.
  • Altering its mandated markings or colors to make the product look more like a real firearm is not only dangerous but potentially illegal.
  • Displaying or brandishing an imitation firearm publicly may confuse people and also be a crime.

Minimum Age requirement to buy a paintball gun.

The minimum age to purchase a paintball gun depends on laws of the state you live in. In Illinois, the legal age is 13 years old, so those that are 13 and above can already purchase a paintball gun without needing the consent of their parents or legal guardian.

For most states, the legal age is 18 years old. If you are a minor who wants to have a paintball gun, California law prohibits:

  • Selling a paintball gun to a person under 18 years old without permission from their parents or legal guardian.
  • Bringing a paintball gun or any imitation firearm on public or private school grounds in schools from grades K-12 by a minor unless they have permission, in writing, from a school principal.
  • Brandishing or exhibiting the gun in a threatening way in which a reasonable individual would fear danger, except for self-defense.
  • Ownership of a paintball gun by a convicted felon, but they can still play.