Michigan Governor Signs Bills Loosening Airsoft Gun Restrictions

Under new legislation in Michigan, airsoft guns such as paintball, BB or pellet guns no longer qualify as firearms.

airsoft gun, airsoft guns, michigan airsoft guns
Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed a series of bills that would change the state classification of airsoft guns such as paintball, BB or pellet guns. Bringing Michigan in line with federal firearms statutes, airsoft guns will no longer qualify as firearms.

“These measures address the confusion that has arisen over Michigan’s varying definitions of firearms,” Snyder said. “The bills were overwhelmingly supported in both the House and Senate, and will give sportsmen and other residents the clarity they have sought on this issue.”

According to the press release, House Bill 4151, sponsored by Rep. Peter Pettalia, repeals criminal penalties for minors possessing airsoft guns. HBs 4152, 4153, 4154 and 4156, sponsored by state Reps. Jason Sheppard, Ray Franz, Brett Roberts, and Tom Barrett, respectively, revise the definition of a firearm in state statutes. They are now known as Public Acts 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25, respectively.

Meanwhile, HB 4155, sponsored by Rep. Triston Cole, expands the definition of “weapon” within weapon-free school zones to include airsoft guns. It is now Public Act 26 of 2015. In addition, HBs 4160 and 4161, sponsored by state Reps. Joel Johnson and Holly Hughes, define the term “brandishing” in a manner consistent with federal and state court opinions. They are now PAs 27 and 28. Senate Bill 85, sponsored by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, addresses the authority of local governments to regulate airsoft guns. It is now PA 29 of 2015.

As the press release points out, similar versions of these bills were vetoed during the last legislative session, as not all of the bills were approved by both chambers and would have further complicated the definition of a firearm.

Show Comments