Airsoft guns are such a fantastic way to spread joy amongst a group of friends or to entertain you for a while so that you finally get some relief from the stress that is often present in everyone’s life.
But, we know that there are certain regulations and limitations in law when it comes to airsoft guns, so can you play with your gun in your own backyard without someone complaining and police showing up on your front door?
Plain simple, in most cases, if you’ve managed to purchase or import an airsoft gun legally in your region that means that you can legally use it in the backyard. However, there may be some other important factors to consider before making complete conclusions.
I am not a lawyer and nothing here can be considered legal advice but rather my mere opinion because some states may have some specific laws I do not know much about.
Shooting an airsoft gun in your own backyard is fine if everyone agrees that it represents no danger to your surrounding, like random passengers, grandmas, grandpas, neighbors, and so on, considering that there are not specific neighborhood laws or regional laws that prevent you from doing so.
In such a case that there is some regional law, or if you have heard that someone mentioned it, you can simply make a call to the regional police station and make it all clear in a matter of minutes.
However, such laws may be written somewhere, and in fact, the same law may prohibit using a slingshot or an improvised bow, but who really follows them, and how often are people prosecuted because of them? Not very often, unless you seriously threaten someone’s life or property with such weapons and tools.
I will guide you through a set of things that you should check out before you start shooting in your backyard, so you can be safe and not worried about potential police arrival.
If you have similar questions about whether you can play airsoft in the woods, I have written a post on this topic here with some interesting stories that happened to people!
Neighbours from hell
You should always be aware of your surroundings and know who your neighbours are. If you assume that they may be just awaiting every day for a reason to call the police on you, then consider it to be an option.
Call the police department and tell them that you will be shooting in front of your basement or in your garden. If somebody calls police on you because they do not like you, do they stand any right to make your life miserable? Most likely not.
If your neighbours are nice people who understand that you are not a merciless murderer who just got back from prison, you will be able to convince them that your airsoft gun is just a toy and that there is nothing to worry about.
And of course, ALWAYS be sure that the airsoft bbs do not enter their property! If a single airsoft bb enters their property, they will certainly have good proof that you have been violating their property.
I have always had a good relationship with my neighbours and shooting anything in my backyard was not ever a problem, so ask yourself whether your neighbours may not be as tolerant as mine or they are just nice people with common sense.
Make it obvious your airsoft gun is a toy
Some states like California have regulated their law about airsoft guns and now have the requisition for everyone owning them that they must be marked with orange color in order to make it easier to recognize them as toys.
There have been some cases when police accidentally shot some kids who pointed their airsoft guns at them because they looked so realistic from afar. After all, airsoft gun’s realism is something people are not used to.
In order to assure that this never happens again, the modern airsoft guns have orange markings at the point of a gun and sometimes on the sides as well.
Furthermore, these markings may help the police to easier tell apart from your toy gun from real guns, but most of the public does not know that because they are uneducated in that field.
Very often people will start panicking if they see you shooting a gun in front of them.
Not even a sound that the airsoft gun makes will be enough to convince them that it is not a real gun because they do not know what the real gun sounds like, especially when they turn the volume down of the already unrealistic sound effects of guns being shoot in action movies.
What does the orange tip on a gun mean?
It means that the airsoft gun that has an orange tip or any orange markings on its body fall into a category of toys or replicas.
In order to make it easier to tell apart a real gun from an airsoft gun some countries and states have declared it to be a mandatory marking.
Whether orange tips are mandatory on airsoft guns or not is a good question so I decided to create entire explanation on this topic.
Is it legal to remove the orange tip from an airsoft gun?
You are allowed to remove the orange tip from your airsoft gun once you get it in your home or use it on the airsoft field where everyone understands that it is an airsoft gun and not the real one.
However, should you remove it or not is more of a personal preference, and you need to know that if you get caught in public with an unmarked airsoft gun, it may cause unnecessary attention.
As a matter of fact, most people will scream out loud even if you have the markings on, so just imagine what would happen if you have a realistic replica of a gun that does not have a single marking indicating it is a toy.
I suggest that whenever you leave your home and travel with your gun to reinstall the orange tip if possible or keep it in a bag made for airsoft guns.
For more information regarding this you should take a look what your state says regarding markings and you’ll find most information on this in my post I have mentioned above.
Is your backyard safe enough for airsoft shooting?
Not all people live in rural regions where sometimes they can even shoot real guns without creating too much noise. If you live in a very urban region you will have to be more careful, try to avoid being seen holding a gun and making too much noise.
In order to achieve this ask, yourself questions like the following:
- Is my backyard fence high enough so my bullets do not run over to someone else’s garden or hit someone behind? If there is a chance that you may shoot into your neighbour’s garden too often, consider building a fence or just change the angle or position.
- Do you live by the road where many people pass daily? If so, sooner or later you will hit someone and then they may sue you. Getting hit by bbs is not a pleasant feeling and people tend to sometimes be overdramatic even if it only touches them.
It has happened to me a few times that I accidentally hit a window with my spring airsoft gun when I was a kid, hopefully it was mine and not my neighbour’s.
Sometimes airsoft guns can break windows and glass, so take care of this because the glass can shatter quite easy in some instances.
If your backyard does not allow you to shoot airsoft guns within it, try to move into the basement or go to a nearby forest.
The forests are an amazing place to play with airsoft guns, but still be cautious that there are not some other visitors who want to enjoy the beauties of nature and who are probably less aware that someone may jump on them with a gun, even if it is just a toy!
If there are not any appropriate places around you, nor the forest, check out whether there is a field where airsoft is played and join the folk.
Just be careful not to spend too much money on the first glance of all the available equipment. Take it slowly and see if you like it, you may like the first game, but the second one may already become too much for you.
Can you shoot a pellet gun in your backyard?
Airsoft guns may be a legal option for shooting in your backyard if all the criteria above are satisfied, however, some of you may now think whether it is legal to use something more powerful or not. Something more powerful that is not a real weapon is certainly a pellet gun.
I believe that it is important to mention related questions because some people may assume that if airsoft pistols are fine to be used, then pellet guns may also be fine to be used.
Well, those guns carry a bit more power and may hurt someone a bit more serious, especially if they hit some vulnerable spots on the human body or collide with glass.
Therefore, your State probably has different laws for that type of gun and will consider them closer to the real firearms.
Whenever you find yourself in a dilemma, check multiple sources before you come up with a decision. I suggest that after reading this you also check out your regional law if you decide to use anything more serious than just a simple airsoft gun.
Final take on
There you go, if your backyard is closed from the public area and no BBs leave it you will hardly experience troubles.
In case that your backyard is not the best option, you can also consider making a small training room in your basement , so nothing prevents you from using your favorite airsoft guns while the fields are not an option.
If you are looking for a decent airsoft gun for target practice you can check my post on this topic, I have taken some factors that affect the training experience into consideration.
Stay good and out of troubles!