Federal Law on Non-Powder Guns

Posted on May 21, 2012

There are no federal laws regulating the transfer, possession or use of non-powder guns. However, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has taken the position that non-powder guns and ammunition fall within its regulatory authority.1 Hence, non-powder guns are subject to generalized statutory limitations involving “substantial product hazard[s]” and articles that create “a substantial risk of injury to children.”2

The CPSC has taken at least one enforcement action against a manufacturer of a non-powder gun on the grounds that the gun created a “substantial product hazard” and “a substantial risk of injury” to children.3

The written standards that the CPSC relies on with respect to non-powder guns are voluntary standards, however.4

Click here to view additional information about non-powder guns, including background information and state and local laws on the topic.

  1. See 15 U.S.C. § 2052(a)(1)(ii)(E); Rev. Rul. 67-453, 1967-2 C.B. 378; CPSC Advisory Opinion No. 127. []
  2. 15 U.S.C. §§ 1274(c)(1), (2), and (e); 2064. []
  3. See Daisy Manufacturing Co; Complaint, 66 Fed. Reg. 56,082 (Nov. 6, 2001) (alleging that non-powder guns manufactured by Daisy Manufacturing Co. present a substantial product hazard and a substantial risk of injury to children); Daisy Manufacturing Company Provisional Acceptance of Settlement Agreement and Order, 68 Fed. Reg. 68,876 (Dec. 10, 2003) (accepting on behalf of the Consumer Product Safety Commission a consent agreement that imposed a series of labeling requirements on non-powder guns). []
  4. 15 U.S.C. § 2056(b)(1); see also S.K. Presnell, Comment: Federal Regulation of BB Guns: Aiming to Protect Our Children, 80 N.C.L.Rev. 975, 1015 (2002). []