Minn. labels BB guns “firearms”

It might be time for an update in firearm classification.

Keelia Moeller

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently convicted David Lee Haywood for possession of a “firearm.” However, the firearm he had in his possession was not what you would expect.
Due to a previous felony drug conviction in 2005, Haywood was banned from owning a handgun. Still, officials found a BB gun in his glove compartment during a traffic stop. Haywood was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison.
The controversy surrounding this situation arises from the fact that Haywood’s BB gun did not use gunpowder. Across the country, there are multiple discrepancies in what constitutes a firearm. Rhode Island and New Jersey define all non-powder guns as firearms. There are also states that simply have age limitations on non-powder guns. 
However, these discrepancies should not be enough to overturn Haywood’s conviction. 
While I agree that we ought to update the language used to define a firearm, we should alter it in such a way that considers who exactly possesses the firearm. While it would be too far to begin convicting teens and adolescents for owning BB guns, I believe some regulation is in order. Convicted felons, for example, ought to have stricter regulations when it comes to the weapons they can carry.
In light of this ruling, it seems that BB guns aren’t so childish after all. We should be wary about who can legally possess them.