So, are these things legal???

The short answer? Yes. On the federal level, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) has determined that potato cannons are not firearms. However, your local city or county or other municipality may have additional laws that more broadly define a firearm. In that case, it would likely be unlawful to discharge a potato cannon within city/county limits. Although I can't answer any questions specific to your locale's laws, the simplest way to guesstimate whether it is legal to fire a potato cannon in your area is to answer this simple question: "Can I fire a real gun here?" If your answer is negative, don't shoot. If it's positive, well, look up the law just to be sure.

It is YOUR responsibility to know your local laws and use your potato cannon responsibility. I cannot possibly know all local laws pertaining to firearms. By using any information contained in this website or commissioning any cannon or BB Machine Gun from this website, you agree to release NeoSpud.com, its owner, and all his relatives from liability from any occurrence as a direct or indirect result from material or merchandise viewed, attempted, communicated, purchased, or otherwise interpreted from this web site and/or domain.

All material within this site is presented primarily for educational and entertainment purposes only.

GOT IT? Now be safe and have fun out there!
Here's the BATFE's letter regarding Potato Cannon legality in its entirety:

Department of the Treasury
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Washington, DC 20226

As defined in section 921(a) (3) of Title 18, United States Code (USC) the term "firearm" means --

(A) any weapon (including a starter gun) which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive;
(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon;
(C) any firearm muffler or firearm silencer; or
(D) any destructive device. Such term does not include an antique firearm.
As defined in 26 USC subsection 5845(f) (2) the term destructive device includes any type of weapon by whatever name known which will, or which may readily be converted to, expel a projectile by the action of an explosive or other propellent, the barrel or barrels of which have a bore of more than one-half inch in diameter, except a shotgun or shotgun shell which the Secretary or his delegate finds is generally recognized as particularly suitable for sporting purposes; and (3) any combination of parts either designed or intended for use in converting any device into a destructive device as defined in subparagraphs (1) and (2) and from which a destructive device may be readily assembled. The term 'destructive device' shall not include any device which is neither designed nor redesigned for use as a weapon; any device, although originally designed for use as a weapon, which is redesigned for use as a signaling, pyrotechnic, line throwing, safety, or similar device; surplus ordnance sold, loaned, or given by the Secretary of the Army pursuant to the provisions of section 4684(2), 4685, or 4686 of title 10 of the USC; or any other device which the Secretary of the Treasury or his delegate finds is not likely to be used as a weapon, or is an antique or is a rifle which the owner intends to use solely for sporting purposes.

It is unlawful for anyone to make or possess a destructive device which is not registered in accordance with the provisions of the National Firearms Act.

We have previously examined that certain muzzle loading devices known as "potato guns." These potato guns are constructed from PVC plastic tubing. They use hair spray or a similar aerosol substance for a propellant, and have some type of spark ignitor. We have determined that these devices, as described, are not firearms provided that they are used solely for launching potatoes for recreational purposes. However, any such devices which are used as weapons or used to launch other forms of projectiles may be firearms and destructive devices as defined.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Firearms Technology Branch, Room 6450
650 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20226

Sincerely yours,

Curtis H. A. Bartlett Acting Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

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