Will a Pellet Gun Stop an Intruder?

Protecting your family and your home is crucial. If you are unable to buy a gun, are waiting to be eligible, or don’t want to use lethal force to stop an intruder, you might be wondering whether pellet guns will work in an emergency. 

Will a Pellet Gun Stop an Intruder? 

Pellet guns can be effective at stopping an intruder, but only if you use them well. Airsoft guns aren’t legally considered lethal weapons because they use compressed air to fire the bullet instead of gunpowder. That means that the pellet is smaller, lighter, and doesn’t travel as fast as a traditional bullet. 

Because of this, it’s much easier to get a hold of a pellet or airsoft gun. However, it also means that it will be more difficult to protect your home against an intruder using only an airsoft weapon. Airsoft guns as self-defense weapons aren’t always ideal, although they might be safer for your family than firearms. 

Pellet guns certainly won’t kill an intruder unless shot directly into the eyes. However, they could slow someone down enough for you to find a more effective weapon or until the police come. If your only defense weapon is a cheap pellet gun, you won’t do much more than pestering the thief. 

Overall, pellet guns aren’t the best way to defend your home from break-ins. An inexperienced thief might get worried and assume it’s a real gun. However, unless you have a powerful airsoft gun or impeccable aim, you will probably need something additional to keep you and your family safe. 

Are There Laws Against Using a Pellet Gun to Protect Your Home? 

In most states, there are multiple laws against violently using any kind of weapon, even in self-defense, if there is an opportunity to retreat. The exception to this is in your own home. The “Castle Doctrine” or “Stand Your Ground” laws of almost all fifty states iterate that a person is entitled to protect his or her home with force. 

Of course, this law applies to pellet guns as well. If there is an intruder in your house, you are fully within your rights to stand your ground and protect yourself and your belongings with whatever weapon you own. However, depending on where you live, deadly force might not be immune to legal repercussions. 

Contact your local government or look up your state’s laws to find out what the rules are where you live. However, know whether it’s legal to use deadly force before you purchase a weapon for self-defense. Even a pellet gun can kill an intruder, and it’s vital to know how you need to use the weapon before you have to. 

However, there are no laws specific to a pellet gun when it comes to self-defense. There are some laws related to owning a pellet gun and where you can use it, but most of these won’t apply if there’s an intruder in your house and you need to stop them. Of course, you should always practice gun safety with a real firearm or a pellet gun. 

Can a Pellet Gun Shoot Fast Enough to Stop an Intruder? 

Some pellet guns can shoot fast enough to stop an intruder. Others, however, are slower and the bullets are lighter. Whether or not you can stop a break-in with your pellet gun depends on the weapon itself. 

Some air rifles can shoot up to 1700 feet per second. Compare this to a bullet from a firearm pistol: a regular bullet travels at least 2,600 feet every second. The plastic pellets are softer than the metal bullets, and the air compression doesn’t have as much power as compressed gunpowder. 

These are the reasons that pellet guns are easier to obtain and use in everyday life–they’re less dangerous. However, they also might not be fast enough to stop an intruder from entering your house. Unless you are excellent at aiming or have an extremely strong air gun, you might want to avoid using a pellet gun to stop break-ins. 

Who Can Own a Pellet Gun? 

According to United States law, almost anyone can purchase and own a pellet gun. Whether it’s for hunting, sports, or personal safety, you’ll be able to find airsoft guns online or at your local sporting goods store. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. 

Anyone with serious past convictions, mental health struggles, or heavy addictions should check with their local laws before purchasing a pellet gun. The rules aren’t as strict as firearms laws, but there are restrictions for some. 

Some states, cities, and counties have age restrictions on pellet guns as well. Usually, these are age 16 or 18, but many places have no age limits as long as a consenting adult is present. 

Different states have restrictive laws on airsoft guns as well. Some states, such as Michigan and Minnesota, require a firearms license for airsoft guns. The strictest states for BB or airsoft guns are California and Massachusetts, although there are also rules within the New York City limits. Check your local laws before purchasing. 

What Type of Pellet Gun Would be Best to Stop an Intruder? 

If you plan to keep a pellet gun by your bedside for self-defense, you need to make sure it’s a good one. The dollar store Red Ryder BB guns won’t do anything more than sting a little. However, a strong air pistol or pellet gun might stop an intruder in his tracks. 

There is an enormous variety of pellet guns available. You’ll have to decide the model you want and narrow it down from there. For example, here are some of the strongest air pistols on the market. However, you might be looking for something longer or more intimidating. 

You know your skills and life situation better than anyone, so you know best what kind of gun you need. As long as it’s an air pellet gun that will break the skin and not just annoy the intruder and leave a bruise for later, you might be able to protect yourself. It’s not an ideal method of self-defense, but it might work in the end. 

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