Airsoft is becoming a popular game in the United States. Participants use airsoft guns to battle each other or "hunt" targets in games that simulate combat or police missions. The guns use fire with either a piston or a burst of compressed air--much like paintball--and are similar to real firearms. Because of that similarity, airsoft guns have begun to see a variety of new laws on federal and state levels, and Nevada is no exception.
According to US Code: Title 15, Section 5001, the federal government makes it legal for airguns to be purchased by adults, regardless of state laws. However, some states continue to enforce state laws that do not allow for the possession of an airsoft gun, despite the fact that these state laws are trumped by federal law. If your area in Nevada does not allow for the purchase of Airsoft guns by adults, you may want to petition local lawmakers and let them know that it is against federal regulations for them to apply that restriction. However, the federal law does not limit states or local governments from restricting how the guns are fired or stored.
Nevada state law NRS 202.290 states that firing an airsoft gun in a public place is illegal, as well as endangering any person by firing an airsoft gun. This law does not just cover shooting a person directly, but also includes harm that may come incidentally from firing. If a person does fire in a public place or endanger a person, they have committed a misdemeanor.
Many local governments in Nevada have municipal codes determining the use and possession of airsoft guns. For example, in Carson City it is illegal to fire an airsoft rifle within 1,000 feet of a building, across a roadway or within 5,000 feet of the area between Deer Run Road Bridge and McTarnahan Bridge Site. Exceptions are made where a license has been granted for a gun range.
In addition to Carson City, it is unlawful in the city of North Las Vegas to use an airsoft gun within 500 feet of any dwelling. Although Clark County has a section of municipal code entitled "Firearms and Air Guns," the code does not list any rules for the restriction of airsoft guns; only firearms that work through combustion.
- a gun image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com