Virginia law explicitly authorizes a locality to:
- Restrict the shooting and use of pneumatic guns in any areas of the locality that are in the opinion of the governing body so heavily populated as to make such conduct dangerous to the inhabitants;
- Require supervision by a parent, guardian, or other adult supervisor approved by a parent or guardian of any minor below the age of 16 in all uses of pneumatic guns on private or public property;
- Specify that minors above the age of 16 may, with the written consent of a parent or guardian, use a pneumatic gun at any place designated for such use by the local governing body or on private property with the consent of the owner; and
- Specify that any minor, whether permitted by a parent or guardian to use a pneumatic gun or not, shall be responsible for obeying all laws, regulations and restrictions governing such use.1
However, no such ordinance may prohibit the use of pneumatic guns:
- At facilities approved for shooting ranges;
- On other property where firearms may be discharged; or
- On or within private property with permission of the owner or legal possessor thereof when conducted with reasonable care to prevent a projectile from crossing the bounds of the property.2
Virginia law requires the training of minors in the use of pneumatic guns be done only under direct supervision of a parent, guardian, Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps instructor, or a certified instructor.3 Training of minors above the age of 16 may also be done without direct supervision if approved by the minor’s instructor, with the permission of and under the responsibility of a parent or guardian.4
“Pneumatic gun” means any implement, designed as a gun, that will expel a BB or a pellet by action of pneumatic pressure.5
See our Non-powder & Toy Guns policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
- Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(A).
- Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(B).
- Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(C). Ranges and instructors may be certified by the National Rifle Association, a state or federal agency that has developed a certification program, any service of the Department of Defense, or any person authorized by these authorities to certify ranges and instructors. Id.
- Va. Code Ann. § 15.2-915.4(E). Virginia law also requires a school board to expel from school attendance for at least one year any student whom such school board has determined to have possessed a pneumatic gun as defined in subsection E of § 15.2-915.4 on school property or at a school-sponsored activity. Va. Code Ann. § 22.1-277.07.