Can a Felon Own a Pellet Gun?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

If you’re a felon, you might have to get too many obstacles to get a pellet gun. Pellet guns are useful for hunting. So if you’re a felon, looking to take up hunting here’s some info you need to know “can a felon own a pellet gun?”

Can a Felon Own a Pellet Gun?

A felon can own a pellet gun. However, the felon may have to go through a lot of steps compared to an ordinary citizen. Normally, felons make use of pellet guns to get into hunting because they aren’t allowed to own a firearm.

A man holding a plastic gun

A pellet gun doesn’t have nearly as much power as even a BB gun, and is not classified as a firearm. Hence, why it’s a popular choice for felons for hunting. The laws regarding owning a pellet gun are also not strict compared to firearms.

Defining the Pellet Gun

A Pellet gun is a gun that shoots pellets. The pellets are prepared from lead combined with pressurized air (CO2). it makes use of compressed air to shoot. The speed of the pellet is slower compared to regular guns.

Pellet Gun in Hunting

Pellet guns are great for hunting small games like:

  • Doves
  • Rabbits
  • Squirrels

Pellet guns can even be better compared to rifles for hunting. They are more silent compared to rifles. It fires seamlessly and doesn’t require much force.

Pellet guns also have great accuracy. The projective travels far making it a great alternative for felons who want to get into hunting.

Jail guard talking to a felony

Is Pellet Gun Considered a Firearm?

A Pellet gun isn’t considered a firearm because of these things:

  • While it has the word gun on its name, not every gun can fall into the category of firearm. There’s a difference between a gun and a firearm.
  • A  firearm makes use of burning powder to assist the firing of the bullet. Since pellet guns make use of compressed air and not burning powder, it is not categorized as a firearm.
  • Any person with a felony history, cannot own or use a firearm. There are rare cases where you can use a firearm in case your life is threatened.

Under the Gun Control Act, a felon cannot use a firearm regardless of the circumstances. If you violate this, you can be classified into a class 6 felony.

However, as mentioned, you can use a gun if you are in life-and-death situations. There are things that you have to prove in court that justify your use of a gun. They are the following:

  • Reasonably feared death or serious injury from an imminent threat.
  • Not recklessly placed himself in the path of that threat.
  • Had no reasonable alternative to possession.
  • Reasonably believed that possession would avert the threat.
  • Maintained possession only as long as necessary to avoid the threat.
Silhouette of a crime

Related Questions

Can Felons Own a Crossbow?

A crossbow is not considered a firearm. Therefore, a felon can own a crossbow. The only restriction the Gun Control Act imposes is firearms. Therefore, felons can purchase and own a crossbow legally.

What States Can Felons Own Guns?

At least 11 states like Kansas, Ohio, Minnesota, and Rhode Island, can restore a felon’s right to bear arms. However, it is limited to nonviolent felons and they should have finished their sentence and/or a certain time has passed without committing any crime.


Pellet guns are legal for felons to own and use. They aren’t restricted under the Gun Control Act. However, you should never use it for a crime. Make good use of it for hunting.

James Forrester is a lifelong gun and firearms owner, and an even bigger advocate for gun safety. He created with the purpose of sharing helpful tips and educating others on how to keep guns and weapons safe and secure.