I’m a huge firearm supporter and really cringe when Congress gets on the “Firearm Ban” wagon. I support NRA as much as I can because I truly believe people have the right to protect themselves with firearms, bar none. Anyhow, I am surprised that air rifles/pellet guns have escaped all legislation, after all, they are a weapon and new technology has made them very powerful. There are air rifles that are capable of taking Bison and Elk. There are some very large bore air rifles such as the 12 gauge or .72 caliber Quigley. This rifle shoots a 500 grain pellet at 800 fps. These rifles shoot very large lead pellets and can take large game humanely. So air rifles and pellet guns have the power to kill humans easily. There are semi auto and full auto pellet guns also. They do not have the power of hunting air guns but could certainly do serious damage at close range.
The difference between firearms and air guns is soon to be; how the energy is created to push the projectile. Firearms use an explosive propellant while pellet guns and air rifles use compressed gas. Although velocities and power are still far apart, they could get pretty close in the near future. I am surprised that no additional legislation has been passed on air rifles. The only restriction is age which is 18 years of age. You can purchase them online and have it shipped directly to your front door. You can buy them in Walmart easily.
Air rifles and pellet guns have come a long way since the Daisy Red Rider. Pellet size and velocities have really improved. There are .25, .30, .357, .458 and .72 caliber pellet guns in addition to the standard .177 and .22. Velocities range from a low 300 fps to a high of 1200 fps. The really big bores shoot a 500 grain pellet at 800 fps. Prices range from $35 up to $2,000. For more info see Pellet Guns 1.
I hope that the U.S. Government leaves this class of weapon alone as far as legislation goes. We have way too many laws as it is. Surprisingly, few if any crimes involving air rifles or pellet guns occur yet knives are very popular. Air rifles are way easier to get then firearms yet none are used in criminal activity. This is a good thing and I’m not complaining.