If you own a high-powered air-gun in Illinois this may surprise you: Your air-gun may (technically) be a firearm.
The current law in Illinois treats air-guns with projectiles that measure larger than .177 caliber, or have a muzzle velocity of more than 700 feet per second, as firearms. Accordingly, the standards and requirements governing real firearms are also applied to qualified air-guns. This would also include the requirement of a Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) card for persons owning and possessing certain air-guns.
Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview) has proposed a bill, which has been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee in Illinois, that seeks to cut regulations related to air-guns. “[Air-guns] don’t involve any gunpowder,” said Sen. McCann. “There’s no chemical reaction taking place, it’s a projectile, a small projectile in the air, and that’s all we’re talking about,” McCann stated, before referring to air-guns as “toys.”
If McCann’s bill makes it through the Senate Judiciary Committee, it will head to the State Senate, before eventually going to the Illinois House of Representatives. We will provide updates regarding the success of the bill, as well as any substantive amendments made to the bill as it makes its way through the Illinois legislature.