Bill to Allow Air Guns at Home Headed to Governor

February 23, 2011

Virginians could fire BB guns and other air-propelled weapons in their backyards under a bill heading to the governor.

The House voted 78-18 Tuesday to approve a measure that allows the use of pneumatic weapons when fired with "reasonable care" to prevent projectiles from going outside of the property.

The bill also prohibits localities from banning the use of air guns on private property. Currently, localities can prohibit shooting the guns in highly populated areas.

Opponents argued the weapons, some with the same firing power as a small rifle, are dangerous.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the guns were responsible for 39 deaths nationwide between 1990 and 2000. Thirty-two of those killed were under age 15.

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