A felony conviction results in the loss of certain civil rights under the U.S. Constitution. The right to possess or use a firearm is one of them. A lot of hunting enthusiasts who used guns for hunting might find it difficult to hunt after they lose their right to use guns due to a felony conviction.
A crossbow might be an alternative depending on the state in which you reside but there are a lot of rules regarding the use of crossbows especially for felons. It might be legal for a felon to use a crossbow in certain states while in some other states it might be considered as a felony offense.
What is a crossbow?
The crossbow is a 5th-century Chinese weapon that was extensively used by the Greeks for warfare. It is a horizontal arrangement of a bow tied with a string and can shoot out arrows that are also called bolts.
Unlike the traditional bow, crossbows can shoot much farther and are more accurate. Although heavier, crossbows require less muscular energy compared to a conventional bow
In the modern world, the crossbow is often used for hunting as it is easier to use, accurate, and more stable compared to a gun. Also, it does not make a loud noise like a gun so it doesn’t scare away the game.
Is Crossbow a firearm?
Technically, the crossbow is not a firearm. A crossbow uses mechanical power and the tension in the string to shoot out arrows while a gun uses energy generated by burning an explosive material to shoot bullets.
Since a crossbow does not generate energy using fire, it cannot be classified as a firearm
However, the crossbow is still considered a weapon as it can be used to hurt another person or animal. So, even though the rules of owning and possessing a crossbow don’t come under the Gun laws, rules governing the use of weapons may still apply to it as per the state laws.
Can felons own Crossbow?
The 1968 Gun Control Act is a Federal law that prohibits a felon from possessing a firearm. Since a crossbow is not a firearm, this law doesn’t apply to it. However, many states have their own rules that might prohibit a felon from using one.
For example, in the state of Oregon, it is illegal to use a crossbow for any citizen no matter if they are a felon or not. In the state of Colorado, a felon is not allowed to possess a crossbow. If found owning or using a crossbow, it will be considered as a Class 6 felony that can result in 12-18 months in prison along with a fine of up to $100,000.
So it is essential that you know about the local laws before you decide to buy a crossbow even if it is just for hunting purposes.
Can Crossbow be used for Hunting?
A crossbow can be used for hunting. In fact, the crossbow is one of the preferred weapons used for hunting due to its ease of use and less stringent laws regarding it.
People with disabilities prefer using a crossbow as they are easier to handle and can be operated with just one hand.
Again, the rules regarding the use of crossbows for hunting vary from state to state and also depend on hunting seasons. In some states, the use of crossbows is permitted only during the bow hunting season.
The bow hunting season is different from the gun hunting season. In states like Hawaii, Massachusetts, and South Dakota, only people with disabilities are allowed to use a crossbow for hunting only during the bow hunting season. 17 other states allow the use of a crossbow during the bow hunting season.