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Tippmann C3 Firearm Legality


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#1 MrEeske

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 03:11 PM

Since the Tippmann C3 uses combusted propane gas to expel a projectile (our humble paintballs Posted Image), doesn't this classify it as a firearm in USA?

U.S. Code, Title 18, Chapter 44 (Firearms), Subsection 921:

The term "firearm" means
( A ) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
( B ) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
( C ) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
( D ) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.


This laws within this chapter is also what killed Barrels of America's "The Concealer" barrel due to it technically being defined as a silencer.

Has anyone had any experience with legal issues of the Tippmann C3, or has some evidence/rulings that show that the C3 is not classified as a firearm?

#2 TK-421

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:04 PM

I think it's technically considered a "toy" instead of a "weapon", at least that's what I'm thinking.

#3 UV Halo

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 04:05 PM

I have not heard of any intersection between Tippmann and the ATF (or other Law Enforcement entities) due to the C3. While it is true to the letter of the law, I'm sure the ATF was not really concerned about it.

In regards to Silencers however, a federal court of appeals overturned the conviction of a man who shipped an airgun silencer through the mail (with it's airgun). The reason being was that the court found that the government failed to prove that the silencer was “for” a firearm.

#4 MrEeske

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 05:54 PM

Thanks for the case info, regarding the airgun silencer. I wonder if that could be used as legal precedent for the lawful production, sale, and possession of marker silencers? Posted Image

I'd like to read up on the case, UV. Do you happen to have any details like who, when, or where it happened, so I could search for more details about it?

#5 MrEeske

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:11 PM

Found the story... http://www.masslive....es_15-year.html

Ok, so he's not going to be a folk hero within the paintball community, but the point about the airgun silencer being legal is still there.

Anyways, thanks for the tip.

#6 UV Halo

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:24 PM

...I wonder if that could be used as legal precedent for the lawful production, sale, and possession of marker silencers?...


...Ok, so he's not going to be a folk hero within the paintball community, but the point about the airgun silencer being legal is still there.

Anyways, thanks for the tip.


I think one (a potential manufacturer) could take two points from that whole event:
1. They've only charged/convicted one individual who already had a criminal record and was being charged (and was subsequently convicted) for other crimes as well.

2. Even a bad egg was able to get a conviction like this overturned.

Other things for a manufacturer to consider:
TM-15 Foregrip/Shroud & (especially) SP8 Stealth Shroud- Successfully manufactured and sold

The risk- yeah, it takes time and money to defend one's self from charges, even if you're in the right.

#7 MrEeske

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:06 AM

I think one (a potential manufacturer) could take two points from that whole event:




I like your "silver lining" thinking. Posted Image

#8 KCMECustoms

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:10 AM

Any item that fires a projectile in some states is considered a firearm thats why walmart cannot and will not sell paintball guns or airsoft guns to anyone under 18.

#9 Latsabb

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 11:20 AM

Any item that fires a projectile in some states is considered a firearm thats why walmart cannot and will not sell paintball guns or airsoft guns to anyone under 18.


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#10 y0da900

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 08:36 PM

Because propane is not an explosive, it is a combustible/flammable. Notice that it says act of an explosive, not act of an explosion (which has a wider range of meaning, including pneumatically generated)

ATF list of explosives.

#11 ecoballer

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:02 PM

corect me if im wrong but the c3 cannot kill anyone with out mods but stock i think it apply's under the same laws as a handheld tazer you can buy them legally if your over 18 just about anywhere



#12 KCMECustoms

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 08:35 PM

^ it can acheive lethal velocity.



#13 Panda Man

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Posted 13 November 2011 - 09:11 PM


Any item that fires a projectile in some states is considered a firearm thats why walmart cannot and will not sell paintball guns or airsoft guns to anyone under 18.


They comin for mah nerf guns!


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#14 MrEeske

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:20 PM

Because propane is not an explosive, it is a combustible/flammable. Notice that it says act of an explosive, not act of an explosion (which has a wider range of meaning, including pneumatically generated)

ATF list of explosives.


Much knowledge you have. Thanks for the share; I wasn't aware of the exact distinction between the vocabulary. That's what I get for assuming.

#15 pb=life

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 04:46 PM

corect me if im wrong but the c3 cannot kill anyone with out mods but stock i think it apply's under the same laws as a handheld tazer you can buy them legally if your over 18 just about anywhere



you could hit them in a lethal spot (temple) and kill them, very unlikely but it could happen. You can also crank up the velocity a ton and be dangerous. When dumbass kids shoot pedestrians with paintball guns they can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon

#16 Zenoah

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 09:58 AM


corect me if im wrong but the c3 cannot kill anyone with out mods but stock i think it apply's under the same laws as a handheld tazer you can buy them legally if your over 18 just about anywhere



you could hit them in a lethal spot (temple) and kill them, very unlikely but it could happen. You can also crank up the velocity a ton and be dangerous. When dumbass kids shoot pedestrians with paintball guns they can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon


your temple is not any more sensitive than any other part of your head. back of the head is the worst, especially at the top of the neck.
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#17 PB2011

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 06:31 PM



corect me if im wrong but the c3 cannot kill anyone with out mods but stock i think it apply's under the same laws as a handheld tazer you can buy them legally if your over 18 just about anywhere




you could hit them in a lethal spot (temple) and kill them, very unlikely but it could happen. You can also crank up the velocity a ton and be
dangerous. When dumbass kids shoot pedestrians with paintball guns they can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon


your temple is not any more sensitive than any other part of your head. back of the head is the worst, especially at the top of the neck.


Actually, I'm pretty sure the thinnest part of the skull is at the sides of head
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#18 cockerpunk

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:09 PM

in MN, anything that uses expanding gas to propel something is considered a firearm. that means all paintball guns and pellet guns are considered legally firearms.

check your local laws.

Edited by cockerpunk, 19 January 2012 - 07:09 PM.

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#19 rntlee

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:20 PM

(3) The term "firearm" means
(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; © any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.


(4) The term "destructive device" means—
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas— (i) bomb, (ii) grenade, (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (v) mine, or (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter...




Sounds like it would qualify to me :)

Edited by rntlee, 19 January 2012 - 07:23 PM.


#20 TK-421

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 07:25 PM


(3) The term "firearm" means
(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon; © any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.


(4) The term "destructive device" means—
(A) any explosive, incendiary, or poison gas— (i) bomb, (ii) grenade, (iii) rocket having a propellant charge of more than four ounces, (iv) missile having an explosive or incendiary charge of more than one-quarter ounce, (v) mine, or (vi) device similar to any of the devices described in the preceding clauses;
(B) any type of weapon (other than a shotgun or a shotgun shell which the Attorney General finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes) by whatever name known which will, or which may be readily converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellant, and which has any barrel with a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter...




Sounds like it would qualify to me :)


That would depend on what their definition of "weapon" is. ;)

#21 Danny D

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 08:43 PM

In canada, firearm legislation is more concise.

It is anything that can fire a projectile at over 540 feet per second. Some airguns can do that, and if they do, a firearms licence and registration is needed. If you mod any paintball marker of airgun to achieve that velocity, a licence is needed.

I believe as well tacked on to that is the amount of energy the projectile has, which is good too.

#22 andrewthewookie

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 12:23 AM


your temple is not any more sensitive than any other part of your head. back of the head is the worst, especially at the top of the neck.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the thinnest part of the skull is at the sides of head

It's not about where the skull is the thinnest, it's about how the brain is supported in the head, and how it moves and bounces against the inside of the skull when you experience head trauma.

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#23 rntlee

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

In canada, firearm legislation is more concise.

It is anything that can fire a projectile at over 540 feet per second. Some airguns can do that, and if they do, a firearms licence and registration is needed. If you mod any paintball marker of airgun to achieve that velocity, a licence is needed.

I believe as well tacked on to that is the amount of energy the projectile has, which is good too.


It's not quite that concise. You are describing "Regulated Firearms". Airguns that shoot <540 fps (and even bows) are also considered firearms, though they are classified as "Unregulated Firearms". This is so that even If you use an airgun in a crime, you can be prosecuted as using a "firearm".




#24 Jaccen

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 10:10 AM

Things in Ontario also get a little hazy if it's considered a "replica" as the province has its OWN rules about that (ie. more than just federal law applies here):

Imitation Firearms Regulation Act, 2000


http://www.e-laws.go...tes_00i37_e.htm

"imitation firearm" includes any object other than a starter pistol to which section 2 applies or a deactivated firearm to which section 3 applies, if the object,

(A) could reasonably be mistaken for a firearm but is not a firearm or a replica firearm as defined in section 84 of the Criminal Code (Canada), or

(<img src='http://www.techpb.com/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' /> is a firearm but is not designed or adapted to discharge,

(i) a shot, bullet or other projectile at a muzzle velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second, or

(ii) a shot, bullet or other projectile that is designed or adapted to attain a velocity exceeding 152.4 metres per second; ("fausse arme à feu")

"transfer" includes provide, barter, give, lend, lease or rent. ("cession", "céder") 2000, c. 37, s. 1.


[b]Restriction re sale of imitation firearms
 No person shall, in the course of running a business, sell or transfer an imitation firearm to an individual unless the individual is at least 18 years of age and presents valid identification in accordance with section 5. 2000, c. 37, s. 4 (1).

The C3 would be classified as "imitation" so it should be fine here.

I have one and Customs inspected by hand when I crossed the border so I'm pretty sure it's good here.

#25 The_Hyren

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Posted 24 January 2012 - 07:25 PM



your temple is not any more sensitive than any other part of your head. back of the head is the worst, especially at the top of the neck.

Actually, I'm pretty sure the thinnest part of the skull is at the sides of head

It's not about where the skull is the thinnest, it's about how the brain is supported in the head, and how it moves and bounces against the inside of the skull when you experience head trauma.


That's definitely true unless he's talking about breaking or penetrating the skull. But considering that hand guns fire hard bullets of smaller diameter at no less than 1500 fps and are only rated with a lethal range of 100-200 yards, I think a paintball would need to reach 1000 fps or more before it became lethal enough to break major bones or penetrate skin. That is a lot more energy than I believe any markers could effectively transfer to a ball.

Weakest part of the skull is through the eyes fyi...

#26 Noreac

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:12 AM

I love how flamethrowers aren't regulated at all by the ATF (except for commiefornia) but then people can somehow get them to make a big deal about a paintball gun.

No your c3 isn't going to get you thrown behind bars. Just leave it as that. Don't overcomplicate things.

EDIT: While I was in the shower for some reason this popped up in my head (I know im wierd) and the only time a paintball gun could be classified as a real firearm is maybe if you took it to a school and the prosecutor or whatever REALLY REALLY wants to screw somebodies life over bad. Thats the only time I can imagine a paintball gun being called a "Firearm". So all in all, don't bring your C3 or whatever to school, the "Zero tolerance policy" CAN get you thrown behind bars for a retarded amount of time.

I mean cmon, a guy at my school has a spent shotgun shell in his car in the parking lot because he had gone shooting over the weekend and the dogs sniffed out the gunpowder smell and found the shell, he was sent to juvy (or alternative school something like that) for 6 months because of that!!! Guy was 17 to, luckily.

Edited by Noreac, 22 February 2012 - 01:20 AM.

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