Go figure: Ballfield behind Charlestown office building not the best place to shoot a BB gun

An office worker looked out his window this morning to see a man firing what appeared to be a rifle at a target behind the Schrafft Center, so he called police, who quickly arrived en masse to find a guy who figured he's get in some practice rounds with his BB gun. Police explained to the guy that was probably not the best idea and to find some other place to learn how not to shoot his eye out.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

    Comments

    Is it legal, though?

    By on

    Was he allowed to continue his target practice? I have been told by an officer that possession of a BB gun inside the city is not a crime, but is it a crime or violation to use it?

    up
    13

    Broad interpretation

    By on

    Massachusetts and Boston (like most municipalities) ordinances forbid 'brandishing' a variety of weapons. Handy for law enforcement in being vague in a certain sense, and I'd say "discharging a firearm" is a clear subset of "brandishing". Now, that just gives an officer purview to do whatever, including arrest you; you still get to plead your case to a judge in the more dramatic outcomes. I don't imagine the brandishing is the only legal issue here, of course; discharging a firearm without a adequate backstop has its own legal issues.

    Not a firearm

    By on

    A BB gun, pellet rifle, etc. is NOT a firearm in Massachusetts.

    BB guns, etc. are regulated by:
    https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartIV/TitleI/Chapter269/Sect...

    Summary: Be 18 or over and don't shoot across roads.

    Boston does have a municipal regulation that prohibits the sale or marketing of replica guns, to include BB guns, but the regulation is strangely written and minimal penalties.

    All that said, anyone who thinks they can shoot a BB gun, or even walk around with one, in public sight within the Hub is crazy.

    I can brandish a sword.

    It's the act more than the specific weapon, generally wielded in an aggressive manner. So, a BB gun? If it's concealed, with no cartridge (CO2) or beebees, then it ain't a weapon, period. If you pull it out and point it at someone or wave it around, well, whole other ballgame, loaded or not. If a cop spots it concealed, you better be very good at obeying directions...

    "I thought his cell phone was a gun" is not the same as "I thought the BB pistol was a gun". Hearing over, take some time off, see you in a few weeks.

    But as far as it goes, a BB rifle is classified as an assault rifle under Massachusetts law. It has a magazine clip full of deadly beebees or a round chamber full of lead pellets, a chemical known in the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects. They are expelled with deadly force by a Carbon Dioxide cartridge, full of deadly Carbon Dioxide Gas, a noted Global Warming gas. They usually come with bayonet lugs and triggers, both meant to maim and kill.

    Can it put out an eye? Well, Red Ryder lore notwithstanding, think of your eye as a small plastic bag full of clear Jello and a beebee as a small spherical object morbidly attracted to it. The results makes Game of Thrones look like a Disney cartoon.

    up
    10

    He wasn't arrested

    Doesn't sound like anything was confiscated, either.

    He was simply reminded that, in a populous and busy city, these sorts of activities are best undertaken on private bits of land rather than public parks

    BB guns are not firearms

    By on

    unless it has a cartridge that carries powder. No law says you can't fire a BB gun in the City, even though the cops would like you to believe that.

    up
    11

    Feet per second = FPS

    By on

    A bb / airsoft 'gun' is a toy. It won't fire remotely as fast as a real firearm, nor travel remotely as far. There is zero danger as far as your scenario is concerned.

    A pellet gun/rifle is much more powerful and is capable of doing some damage, although still nothing like a real firearm unless you literally shot some person at relatively close range in the eye, etc. And that's asking a lot.

    Location