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Is it against the law to shoot pellet guns in a townhouse complex?

Ken Little
Airsoft gun. Bigstock photo

Airsoft gun. Bigstock photo

Q. Is it against the law to shoot pellet guns in a residential neighborhood townhouse complex in New Hanover County?

A. It’s unlawful to discharge a BB or pellet gun within city of Wilmington limits, and there are safety-related restrictions in New Hanover County, according to laws on the books.

In the city of Wilmington, it’s unlawful “for any person to shoot or carry concealed about their person any pellet gun, BB gun, air gun, air pistol, gas pistol, gas gun or any other mechanism or device designed or used to project a missile by compressed air or mechanical action within the city,” according to Section 6-5 of city ordinances, “discharging and concealing pellet guns.”

The section does not prohibit “licensed shooting galleries for BB guns at indoor shooting ranges that have met the requirements of all applicable governmental laws and regulations, and the safety regulations of the National Rifle Association and are at all times under the supervision of a qualified instructor.”

In New Hanover County, it’s against the law “to discharge a firearm or air gun or pistol” when it is “carelessly or heedlessly in wanton disregard for the safety of others,” the law states.

Use of a pellet gun is prohibited “without due caution or circumspection and in a manner so as to endanger any person or property and resulting in property damage or bodily injury,” according to the county statute.

Any violation of the provision is subject to a $500 civil penalty, according to the law, which is covered in Section 38-106. – “discharge of firearms.”


Is it illegal to shoot a slingshot within the City of Wilmington?

Is hunting legal in the Middle Sound area?


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