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Is a bb gun considered a weapon?

Saint Cloud, MN |
Filed under: Criminal defense

My boyfriend is currently on parole and moved in with me. His probation officer found a bb gun in my sons room. He was arrested and waiting to see if he will be violated on this matter. I guess im just wondering is it really against the law for a felon to have a bb gun in the home?

Attorney Answers 3


In NJ, the answer would be yes, any type of BB gun, air rifle, spring-pistol (like an air-soft) that discharges a solid pellet would be considered a weapon under our State law. Since this is not a rhetorical question, but one where your BF is facing a VOP, I strongly suggest that you consult directly with an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice law in MN to determine the potential parole hit and the possible basis to contest the VOP at the parole hearing. Good luck.

This information is offered for informational purposes only, as I do not practice law in your State. It is not intended as legal advice and you should not rely upon it to decide how to resolve this issue. No Attorney-Client relationship is intended or established by this response. You are faced with a situation where you need to consult with an experienced defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions as to how to resolve this issue.

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Unfortunately, Minnesota Appellate Courts have held that a BB gun does, in fact, fall under the general rule that a felon is ineligible to possess a "firearm." Although the applicable Minnesota "definition of terms" statute does not specifically define "firearm" for purposes of Minnesota's "felon in possession" statute, in my experience, possession of even a BB gun is no longer an open question in Minnesota.

There may be an issue regarding whether your boyfriend was actually in "possession" of your sons's BB gun. But again, unfortunately, if your boyfriend is facing a "parole" or "supervised release" violation hearing, such matters are handled (internally) by the Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) and their administrative hearing process - That is, the allegations are brought against a parolee by a DOC employee (usually the parolee's Probation Officer) and it is a DOC employee ("hearing officer") who makes the determination as to (1) whether a parole violation has occurred and (2) the penalty to be imposed if a violation is found. Bottom line, the deck is usually stacked against the parolee alleged to be in violation of a condition or conditions of their parole.

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Yes. The issue is why the PO would be able to search a room belonging to your son.

If the BB gun belongs to your son, then your boyfriend should fight it on that grounds.

Edward J. Blum

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