|Bald Headed Squirrel Hunter|
I live in Houston Texas. Several months ago I bought an old H&R starter pistol that shoots black powder 32's.
I just cleaned it up and wanted to try it out. Is it legal for me to shoot a starter pistol in my backyard?
"Meet the new boss, same as the old boss"
You would have to check your local ordinances but I would go with no. Most areas around here your not even allowed to shoot paintball or airsoft guns.
"Explosive device", blah-blah-lawyerly-detailed words = bad/generally prohibited.
When we lived in Western NY in a small village even slingshots and BB/pellet guns were illegal.
|Cogito Ergo Sum|
In our town anything that launches a projectile is illegal to operate in city limits. I guess that would include spitballs.
Maybe you can go to a running track with it, take a starting stance, fire it off and do a lap around the track?
Like others said, check your local ordinances.
Tomorrow's battle is won during today's practice.
|The Unmanned Writer|
My answer is, "yes."
However, to be legal, (); load each cylinder and just before the first trigger pull you must scream, "no, no, no, don't do it." Then pull the starter gun trigger three times .
Then; scream, "don't, not again, please" and expend the remaining two blanks.
Pop a beer, light a seeegar and enjoy the next couple hours.
Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Only in an insane world are the sane considered insane.
The memories of a man in his old age
Are the deeds of a man in his prime
This is certainly about your location - “in” being key. There may be local ordnances about discharging a firearm within the city limits. I believe them to be common in many small towns, more so I expect in cities.
A safe place to ask might be a local gun shop. Ironic as is may be, they might suggest taking it to a local gun range.
|Little ray |
I genuinely don't know. I can look it up if you want to pay me my hourly rate. The city ordinances are on-line. It might violate noise ordinances, too. And there are state criminal laws about how much land you need to shoot guns. The key will be the definition of "gun" or "firearm." It may take reference to case law if the statute is not perfectly clear. Generally, a firearm is a device designed to discharge a projectile, generally by burning powder or the like, but I have never looked up Texas' definition.
But, I'd advise against it, no matter. Some neighbor may think it is a gun and call the police. Then, at best, you get to spend half an hour convincing a cop it isn't a gun. Or, you get to go downtown and deal with it in more detail, even if if does not turn out to be illegal. And, if it is illegal, then you committed a crime.
Seems like a no-win to me.
The fish is mute, expressionless. The fish doesn't think because the fish knows everything.
|Doin' what I can |
with what I got
One might file this under "if you have to ask, you can't afford it."
One of your neighbors probably learned about guns from NBC Prime Time and won't know the difference. Are there statutes about Inciting Panic on the books in your jurisdiction?
Death smiles at us all. Be sure you smile back.
It would be legal in my city, albeit unadvisable. Our city prohibits discharging a device that is capable or launching a projectile, so firing blanks in a real rifle is still illegal. Since a starter pistol isn’t capable of firing a projectile, it would technically be legal. As others have stated, that’s a legal difference that you may not win with responding officers.
Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and you will go on well. -Epictetus
|I Deal In Lead|
If you only fire one shot, people will generally ignore it. They won't be sure if it's a gunshot, a backfire, a firecracker or what.
If you fire more than one, they'll go out and investigate.
I have an apartment complex in my backyard with a large retention pond nearest me. Kids living there often train their dogs for retrieving when it is holding water. Last year a girl had a lab and was simulating a shot with a starter pistol and blanks. I happened to be in my back pasture when she started and I advised her she was likely to get run in to the cops if she kept after it. She was nice and took my suggestion with a smile; I assured her I wouldn't be the one who made the call. She said her dad said it would be ok and she did it all the time out in West Texas. I just smiled.
A few days later she yelled at me and said she should have listened. Someone did call and she got a hefty fine and was told she was lucky she didn't get arrested for discharging a weapon in the city limits.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was
In a place where launching of projectiles in public is illegal.. i dont expect less
May I suggest just asking the city attorney?
You can get an opinion in writing by sending a question (e.g. "Dear Mr. Michel, As a citizen of Houston, I would like to ask whether there is any applicable law, ordinance, or statute that prohibits discharging a starter pistol within city limits. If so, would you please provide me with a citation and a brief summary? If not, would you please reply that you are not aware of such a law, statute, or ordinance that would prohibit the discharge of a starter pistol? Thank you for the work you do on behalf of the city and for your attention to this matter. Very sincerely,") to:
The Office of the City Attorney
City of Houston Legal Department
P.O. Box 368
Houston, TX 77001-0368
You can also call (832) 393-6491 but any request for an opinion has to be in writing anyway.
Hope this helps. Interested to hear the result.
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